Richmond
by Lydia Smith from Metropolitan Learning Center
Published in the 2007-2008 WITS Anthology I Once Was Young and Strong (Available for purchase)

We left after lunch
Beneath bright sun, blue sky,
Carrying dad’s old red canoe on our backs,
Stubbing toes on hidden stones.
So much storm that year—
Even for Virginia.
Banks slippery, creek high enough to paddle,
My brother slaps the canoe on muddy water,
Orders me in.
Only one oar, and I don’t get one.
We drift, watching the bridge we built last summer
Float away on rising water.
Creek flooded, holes in our broken boat.
Way home disappears in a downpour,
Unending rain.