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  • write4hire

From A Leaky Inner Tube

I Go Back …

For my warrior friends

in Hastings and Rowayton

to read some poems I wrote in 2020, when a snowmelt of words came rushing over slick algae-covered boulders down the mountain

past the treehouse I built

for the kids in ‘85,

glugging on toward

the river as ever, as ever,

ever to the sea, waves

crashing onshore,

17 grandkids romping

in the surf, cormorants

flying out beyond breakers,

the endless arc of sky

and water where I float

farther and further

from shore in a slowly

leaking inner tube, messages

in bottles bobbing in the blue

as blue Gulf Stream,

buoys marking invisible

coordinates across watery time,

but when I reach over to grab

one by the neck and yank out

the cork with my teeth,

my disembodied voice aloft

in salt air, I can’t figure how

those words got in the bottles,

where I was when I wrote them,

what I keep trying to say,

why I keep saying it.

—SL, began Port Royal, SC, 10.22

finished New Paltz, NY, 11.22

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