A boat of light by Van Anderson

Painting of four women in a boat

“Night Watch” by Genevieve Cohn

I held you, dearest fortune, in my arms
that night, the dark and drizzly air lit by
a street lamp in the park along the lake
whose waves lapped rocks beside the shore,
their nearly silent, whispered “yes” just yards
away. The fact that I still see and feel
us there is proof enough that fifty years
ago the love that moved us toward each other
is the love that moves and lifts us still
as if it were a boat of light we built
with beams and boards we gathered on the way,
then shaped into a sweetly curving hull
that’s run the tides and weathered surging swells
and stormy surf. The sun is settling toward
the west. The moon will rise, throw down a dance
of rippling silver on the blue-black bay.
Tomorrow we’ll row our steady skiff along
the shore, explore the margins of our years
until we find the point that thrusts so deeply
out to sea it seems we’ve left the land
behind. From there, the close and holy world’s
immensity is palpable: the wheeling
sun and moon, the arcing stars, the gyring,
keening gulls and terns, the air that bears
the scent of salt, the ebb and flow of tides,
the restless, curling white of waves that wash
the sand. And roseate dawns will lift the veil
of time, that sweeping, tender touch of sea
and sky where love flames forth eternally.

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