Ronkonkoma #8

The hull was yellow and maroon,

I taped the line,

Sanded the benches,

The welder up the road fixed the trailer.

You read your book,

Took your lesson,

And prepared us to sail,

For a day that would finally come.

And when it did,

The wind screamed,

The lake churned and spit,

The Ocean a definite no.

We went inland on the Island,

To the biggest lake of all,

Where a princess was known,

To take the life of a boy.


The wind straight to our back,

You would not give in,

We had put time into this trip,

We had planned this.

The wind holding the rutter,

The boat out of control,

You yelled “prepare to tack”,

The boom swung for my head.

I disappeared under the sail,

It had my name on it,

I watched you as starboard came around,

And you were pushed backward into the water.

As loud as that day was,

For a moment it all went still,

I came up for air,

To see you, hear you screaming for me.

For a moment I smiled,

You had cracked, shown your vulnerability,

Shown how much you cared,

That you could be afraid of losing something.

“Right here Dad” is all I said,

As life washed back into your complexion,

It took us a while to steady that boat,

A windsurfer helped us get the right angle to bail.

I tied the rope to my shoulders,

And you continued to remove the damage,

As I made the mile swim back to the launch,

Coming up a little short and slightly to the right.

4 thoughts on “Ronkonkoma #8

  1. Hi Tom,
    I loved it that at first I thought this was about a relationship between a man and woman and then, to my delight, found that it was between son and father.
    I did find a couple of places where you have some tense confusion…I’m guessing that you just missed ‘d’s at the end as in “prepare” in the second stanza and “remove” in the last. Also a spelling issue…should be “rudder” not “rutter” .
    Minor tweaks at best. Nice poem.

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