Jack Ross Knutson

Birth of a Boat

I passed it everyday
An embryo, gestating like a cicada in the earth
Out placed in a hayfield,
Twenty-thousand leagues from the sea
Prostrate, an absurd monument
As helpless as a back-flipped beetle
Begging for direction
The static hull, specimen mounted
Washed by amber waves of grain
Longed for something it could not conceive
Never doubting one instant that somewhere
Existed a thing like the sea
Amidst its unyielding dry demand in a hopeless setting
My routine of weeks and months greeted it
Like a friend, accepted it, took it for granted
As we aged together and it’s distant features
Changed as slowly as mine by the old man
Who secretly labored on its gaunt ironwood visage
Only in my absence
Hurriedly one day I noticed nothing
And the next the same, another forgotten greeting
Till quietly the third I had time to hello
I felt an absence before I knocked its door
The hull full bloomed was gone like a grown child
Like a late father I had missed its birthing 
And like a childhood friend I never saw it again
Now when I pass by that way I still look for that boat
Born from a hayfield