Missing the boat

“It is not so much that the boat passed
and you failed to notice it.
It is more like the boat stopping
directly outside your bedroom window,
the captain blowing the signal-horn,
the band playing a rousing march.

The boat shouted, waving bright flags,
its silver hull blinding in the sunlight.

But you had this idea you were going by train.

You kept checking the time-table,
digging for tracks.

And the boat got tired of you,
so tired it pulled up the anchor
and raised the ramp.

The boat bobbed into the distance,
shrinking like a toy—
at which point you probably realized
you had always loved the sea.”

~ Naomi Shihab Nye Different Ways to Pray- Breitenbush Publications, 1980

Young man in stranded boat rack in the desert

3 thoughts on “Missing the boat

  1. wow, this is beautiful . .. .puts me in mind of that gut wrenching sorrow type feeling that feels just right while simultaneously being so very sad, sadly perfect perfectly sadly gut wrenching . … .

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