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I remember the water and the wind —

in the Adirondacks,
in our small blue canoe.

I remember the child’s paddle in my hands,

with the muscles on my back and shoulders,
tense and pulsing,
with each stroke.
I was maintaining our position in the water
because I wasn't strong enough yet
to move us forward
like Dad or Mom


I remember how the rain hit my small back

and stung each time,
like bee stings.

And I remember fighting
the two-foot waves that splashed
over and into our blue canoe.

I remember feeling so powerful,

and invincible,
even though a good wave could flip us,
and even though I was five,

I felt strong.

I felt strong among the storm,

among the bee-sting rain,
among the sharp wind,
among the two-foot waves that soaked me,
among my little sister, three years old and scared.

And I remember being within all that chaos,

and thunder and lighting,
and tense muscles,
and strong paddle strokes,
and pumping blood,
and chaos.

I was immersed in the water and the wind.


And I was




Callen Bailey I Remember the Water and the Wind
Callen Bailey, 12
Lewisburg, WV