The Lasting Sails

Before the boat could decipher whether it was the wind that had pulled her in without warning,

Or she was deliberately pushed into the meandering stream one winter morning,

She woke up to see she was flowing along- past cedars and pines and majestic windmills,

In the lap of the river, cutting through cities and wading through fields.

 

She was made of hard paper,

The kind that stands even when tides swell.

Alas! She hadn’t seen how living waters could be lethal;

How long could she endure- only time would tell.

 

The river had a lot of jewels to be proud of,

Rocks and lilies and fish that lived off its water,

It was the boat that gave it the push to flow on,

They carried on relentlessly, sword and fighter.

 

The boat pelted against the smoothened rocks when the water was shallow,

And she sailed with pride when it was calm.

She had vowed to be by the river she had come to love,

Be it the joy of spring, or when in the face of harm.

 

Was it gravity, or,

Did the river decide to cause the turbulence, the boat would never know.

There was nothing said and nothing asked,

But she felt a pang she wasn’t prepared for.

 

She toppled and tripped and hit the soil beneath.

Gasping for air, she struggled to hold on to dear life,

She looked around, dismayed, but couldn’t recognize the void,

She only hit empty water where once there was love rife.

 

She would have given up the scuffle,

Had it not been for the lonesome, but plentiful bank.

The boat would have been tattered by the seething water,

Or, in all of her loyalty, succumbing to the wrath of the waters, sank.

 

The bank held on, didn’t clinch or prod,

It let her watch the river flow by,

And chose to play not protector nor guide,

She was free to go if she willed, else, he was an ally.

 

 

Astha Shah

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