Poetry: Paddle Whispers by Douglas Wood

As Spring starts to emerge, a perfect poem to contemplate.

I sit on a rock at the end of the island, peeling off flakes of sunburned nose. Feet dangle in cool water; minnows nibble at toes. Overhead a broad-winged hawk sends a thin whistle, her voice too small for her size. She traces invisible circles on a canvas of robin’s-egg blue.

I have my own circles to trace. But for now I don’t move. Everything depends, I guess, on how you spend your time, yet there are times when not doing is the most important thing to do. When the me on the rock sits a little more definitely with each slow circle of the hawk, and the not-me floats away, unnoticed even by minnows.

Douglas Wood, Paddle Whispers, 1993


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