Drying Off Again
	Later you told how your eyes lifted, and you raised your paddle
	Motionless as you caught a flash of lightning from my smile
	You saw my shoulders, you said, but blinded--perhaps by the light from
	        The steel straps, bolts  binding me fast to that unwieldy raft
	        You didn't see.  Or you certainly   (Your thin smile slices through me)
	Would never have invited me to your side of that river
	You said it was only my laughter you invited, singing out
	To come light in your canoe.  But I, awkward, eager
	Loaded down, lurched lugging everything
	Splashing cross currents toward your lovely song my lonely ear led me
	Only to hear your wail as you, frantic, tried to balance yourself in my wake
	Embarrassed, I tried to stop, but once the barge is in motion
	It is difficult to restrain.  You paled as I -- red-faced -- washed nearer
	Listen, I didn't know you didn't know I was attached so tightly to this barge
	Slow, lumbery, full, sunk low.   A cluttered chaos of costumes, game tables
	plants, pets, kids, eccentric friends, books, bad habits
	Demanding, loud, rough, bawdy, rude
	My raft rumbles up rivers sending fish streaking
	Birds on shore scream and scatter.  Riot
	How could you have, not seen, not heard?
	You must forgive my stirring up your calm
	Clear clean course.  I swamped your quiet, neat
	Sweet swift canoe and nearly drowned us both
	Laughing so I couldn't swim -- couldn't cry
	Muddied up your stream and nearly beached my barge
	Your waterway seems suited for bark boats only
	Lighter pods that sit lightly, skim brightly on the surface
	Now, resting, rocking, back in deep channels I steer
	Charting my course by the needs of my craft and cargo, not drifting
	In charge of the course as it rises before me
	Now I warn you and all those with me:  Except as they warn of current, of snag
	Reflections and echoes must be ignored.  Light, laughter, songs
	All are signs of danger,   of sirens,       unsafe,         even on the shore
	
            Heywood Williams			

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