Wednesday Poem

I had a dream in the day:

I laid my father's body down in a narrow boat

and sent him off along the riverbank with its cattails and grasses.

And the boat - it was made of bark and wood bent when it was wet -

took him to his burial finally.

But a day or two later I realised it was my self I wanted

to lay down, hands crossed, eyes closed...

Oh, the light coming up from down there,

the sweet smell of the water - and finally, the sense of being carried

by a current I could not name or change.

From Marie Howe's second collection, `What the Living Do' (WW Norton, pounds 7.99)