Paddling on Loch Ness in a Borrowed Boat

For Richard O’Neil


I don’t remember why we stopped.
You were tired of driving,

or perhaps the fog had settled
upon us, thick as wool.

It was a dirt road, early morning.
We jumped over a low, wire fence

to walk around the blue and white
Episcopalian Church, as if to stretch.

You were sockless; I wore gloves.
By the gray water, a tree swayed.

After bailing it, untying the thick rope,
we pushed it into the murky water,

the deep lake uncertain it would float
thinking we might drown in foreign darkness,

lost places, an ancestral past,
and moved towards one another,

daring ourselves
to doubt myth.

Sandra M. Castillo