Sailing – Poetry by Bridget Rawding

Sailing Boats – Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis

Gull gray steam rising off the lake,
damp mist pricking my skin.
The dock, spongy beneath my sneakers,
exhales the faint odor of dead fish.

The morning is silent, save for the creaking
of the last boats of the season
straining against their moorings
in the choppy water.

I remember
the murmur of mourning doves
in the woods behind me,
but that probably isn’t true.

It was the summer that Christopher Cross’s “Sailing” played on every radio.
The saccharine lyrics ran through my head that cold morning:
It’s not far to never-never land, no reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again

I was eleven years old. Summer was over.
We would be leaving the lake cottage later that day.
My father had not yet left, but he was already gone.
Somehow I knew, even as I stood there, that this moment was already a memory.

About the Poet

Bridget Rawding is a librarian, writing instructor, photographer, and emerging writer in the greater Boston Area. Her work has appeared in FERAL: A Journal of Poetry and Art. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University, and lives in Lawrence, Massachusetts with two melodramatic cats.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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