on our flat water,
as a busy road girdles the mountain nearby.
A different kind of stillness
overpowers the engines
once oars are in hand,
a stillness that drowns out
chatter and nonsense
and every thought except “move this boat.”
Distractions are for those caught
in the monotony of 6 AM taillights.
On the water, every motion requires
for every stroke is different
and demands adjustment
of arms, legs, buttocks, shoulders,
the subtle twist of a wrist.
From the shore
every stroke looks identical,
every rower in perfect synch.
On the water,
Inside each woman is a riot
a hundred refinements of muscles
large and small.
The stillness of control
lets us hear, between breaths, the water run bubbling
under our boat.
Ssshhhh. The coxswain is speaking.