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by Madelyn Camrud
Truthfully, there are no roses in any of this.
Not in the rowing, the awful rowing like a wind squall.
He went out like a light.
But there were days, occasional, grace-necked as swans paddling
on the coulee, gracious as stories told,
tongues unlaced. Looking back, I see them watching
for land any day just ahead.
He went out, left foot left, closet corner,
other half riddled with survivor doubt, stayed, like an old shoe,
forgotten in the dust of its keeping.
Skin like leather we all wear in time. Shoe
without a foot, left in a corner