There is No Turning Back Now

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Our canoe rocks
against the breeze;
knocking the others
on the shoal.

I stand back and shudder;
my partner is unaware
that I’ve never canoed before.

Reluctantly, I volunteer myself
as leader for the day,
my voice tapering off
into uncertainty.

Clutching the map tightly in my hand,
I stare ahead to the ominous
and bottomless lake.
I push off the canoe and jump in,
realizing my fatal mistake.

There is no turning back now.

As my paddle hits the water,
I am unable to fight
the strong winds
that push our canoe
off course.

My partner whines and glares at me.
The other passing canoeists
gawk over our misfortune
with inquisitive eyes.

I breakdown for the first time.

I scream at my teammate
for being so inconsiderate.
I scream at myself
for being so incompetent.

As we struggle to steady our canoe,
slowly we catch up
to the group
I was meant to lead.





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