Towing Caution in the Wind

by Christine Adams Beckett

Brothers in the boat declared
you’ve gotta commit to the turn,
cut it, rip it open, ignore your
instincts. If you ever really

want to be any good, you
have to be scared and do it anyway.
Heed-able advice from two bags of
injuries, fools, who regardless

seemed pretty damned content
in this second-hand vessel.
I used dish soap to pull the
stiff binding around a lumpy

Achilles’ tendon, jumped in,
grabbed the rope, and heard:
no Sunday drags here. No
bullshit. Time’s a-wastin’.

So I succeeded,
and failed. Under the water,
everything was quieter, and
tinted green, the sound

of the motor oddly distant
and tinny, light rippling
and bending with the water
a bit of my blood. Baptized,

breaking the surface, a brother
yelled, you got it! I cried
Uncle, crawled into the boat
like an exhausted amphibious

victor. Did you feel it, baby?
No one gets to call me baby,
I said, and though damn straight
I felt it. A joyous ordeal.

Stop being such a girl, said a brother,
winked, threw a towel at me
that had warmed dry in the sun,
and cooed, OK, Honey?