by Tess Gallagher

Read by Emma Rye

With steps freshened

by wearing a man’s cast-off shoes,

I follow the rain-rutted road

as far as the fishing boats

turned upside down

on the soggy bank, their oars

secured elsewhere to provide

against thieves.

Mottled light through

waterside trees over the bows

and sterns means trading

fish for birds.

I take up the invisible oars

put by for just this

occasion: a banishing

scald of sun blotted inexactly

by a succession of windblown clouds

able to lift the entire flotilla.