The Boat Builder


He bows over the board to hone the line
from stem to stern along a subtle curve
that instinct and intelligence define.

With equal parts exactitude and nerve,
and love’s perfection lofted in his soul,
he coaxes perfect from imperfect tools,

in order to achieve the simple goal:
to sail beyond the reach of any rules
but those of wind and water. Cedar curls

in fragrant piles of flotsam at his feet,
while in his mind, a silken wing unfurls,
all plans fulfilled, all purposes complete.

Barbara Loots is a member of the adjunct faculty at Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies, and hopes to qualify for Docent training at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

First published in Measure, Volume 4, Issue 1 (2009)