Drifting Down the Stream

A pair of warm gloved hands  
sets a new toy boat drifting down the stream. 
Carried along by the current, gently it is rocked, 
back-and-forth and back-and-forth.  

Its stream is but one of several streams with several boats. 
Torrential eddies, smooth streamflows,  
directions shifted in the wake of other vessels––the
naive toy boat may encounter these along the waves.  

Sometimes the water is frigid  
though the sun radiates warmly against it.  
Sometimes plants and pebbles and predators 
try to overwhelm the lone toy boat,  
turn its bow one way or another.  
Sometimes the rain stings the deck,  
but remember the rain comes in a cycle:  
it will come and it will go. 

Aging toy boat, try as its foes might,  
there is only one possible direction to go:  
forward.  
There is a buoyant force  
lifting the hull when it threatens to go under.  

The waning toy boat will keep on drifting.  
The sun steals its color bit by bit. The water wears its edges. 
Eventually it will break, but ebbing toy boat,  
the journey was quite incredible, wasn’t it?

—Nimran Shergill is a first-year in Timothy Dwight College.

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