Submitted by Betty Solley in recognition of her teammate Jill Muhrer
One of my teammates, Jill Muhrer has had her poem describing paddling with Against the Wind published in the spring issue of Modern Haiku magazine. I love this beautiful poem.
Darkness settles quickly on the river, erasing the horizon. Life vests creating a rainbow, our team of 22 rushes to the dock carrying our dragon boat paddles.
Breast cancer, the one subject we rarely discuss, unites us. Tonight, we focus on balancing the boat.
The river holds us as we push off. Up front, the drummer sets the pace. Perched in the back, the steerer quietly directs us as we launch.
We paddle in silence. Feeling the power of our synchronized strokes we follow the river along the city’s edge. We glide. The boat is all strength and grace.
Settling in, my partner and I share a smile. The river bank becomes a blur of spring flowers, children playing, barbecues and a riff of music – rap, salsa, rock. Geese, ducks, and a turtle accompany us.
As a last exercise, we close our eyes, paddling by the feel of the boat. We bury our paddles, pull through the river’s current and approach our dock, the sun low in the sky. In the distance, the city skyline is slowly lighting up.
a blue heron.
By Jill Muhrer
Member Against the Wind Dragon Boat Team
A crew of the Philadelphia Flying Phoenix Dragon Boat Team
Published Modern Haiku, Spring, 2023