We watch the effect of a healthy gust
as it catches my hat that dances and plays
on surface ripples. Until it sinks.
The wind pushes our canoe, and I paddle while
my passenger yells, “Save me! Save me!”
The terrified teen holds her paddle in her lap
and cries about being lost–such a small lake–
and I grimace at the afternoon’s planned climb.
I think about a former student tied
into her wheelchair, her head confined
within a brace, to prevent it from flopping
forward, a task tougher than paddling.
Her needs and complications frightened me,
but she smiled her toothy smile, and her eyes
sparkled like a mountain lake, though now she
cloud surfs in a gust that swirls above us.
Later we hike the hill, and I look at my charge
who is tied like Prometheus to her rock.
The future of the SIDS child ended early,
but this teen has time to break her bindings.