Peter Chapman Poetry

Captiva Pass

It was a beautiful day. Mother, brother and I rented a small boat and went out into Pine
Island Sound. We turned northwest and blasted a foamy wake up to Cayo Costa where
we anchored off the beach at the island's south end. Brother walked out of sight keeping
the Gulf of Mexico to his left. I plunged in, needing to quell sudden spinnings. Mother
looked for shells and generally infused the salt air and sunshine mantra that is hers.

The light sparkled on the water and gulls sailed through the old zone that explains the sky
to earth. Smooth stumps of former trees broke from the beach like old teeth. I emerged
from the Gulf and lay down upon the packed damp sand, no ambitions, no flag.

We'd eaten our lunch after landing the boat. It was time to go on.

This is when things got to a concern for my safety that I did not entirely feel was adequate
to my ultimate success. Maybe you've had experiences where you felt imperiled and it
seemed so odd. Everything going well. The day loose with reliable gratifications.

I swam out to the boat, not seeing it lay parallel to the beach and back off its anchor. The
current took me and I barely made it back to the beach. Mother and brother watched me
swim out again. I swam hard and toward the bow so the current would take me to the
stern, where I could climb aboard.

"Peter do you have the key?" brother yelled. No. Without it I couldn't start
the motor.

I turned back and barely made it onto the sand. I was breathing hard and felt dizzy with
exertion and the compression of fear. Mother and brother looked at me. There seemed to
be no concern. I got irritated and coned my eyes.

I took the key and gathered myself and dove in.

I swam hard feeling the whirl of the flowing blue sea. The boat lay off taut and I flew
along her hull with the current. I caught the stern and pulled myself aboard. I fired her
up and got the anchor in and drove into the beach so mother and brother could get in. I
pushed the throttle down and the hull V'd into the salient bay.

Life as stylish panic. But when the water has just you in mind? Whatever you do, do it by