Poetry by Sandra Vrana

Voyage Out

And I dreamed he was lying flat

in a boat, and I had placed him there.

I was not remembering the past.

I felt no rancor, nor any fellow feeling,

just a calm finality.

It was evening, and not much

could be seen but the shoreline,

the shape of the canoe-like vessel,

and shadowy branches 

like wings of large birds 

surrounding his body.

I do not know if he was asleep, or drunk,

or dead, the difference not important 

to the moment—just that he was quiet, still.

I bent over the boat and shoved, 

and it moved into the water with almost

no sound, and out to the calm sea.

His body looked peaceful, as if finally finding 

the place he was always meant to be. 

Or perhaps my own self, unseen, 

                                             moved into the darkness.

Sandra Vrana
grew up in a western Pennsylvania coal mining town where her father was a coal miner from the age of twelve. She has a PhD in Literature and Cultural Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A retired Professor of Literature and Writing, she taught classes for decades at Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia.