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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'Knocking about on a Rowing Boat' by DS Maolalai

in a pond which we're calling

a lake for the day,

in limerick, somewhere south

of the city – near to the road

toward tralee. it's a long weekend;

we're in a house my sister rented –

wine with our breakfast (sausages)

and now some beers which float

and get cold in a bag tied astern.

the sun shifting slowly and cresting

the hills like the white caps of waves

over shorelines. approaching midday –

there's five here afloat. aodhain at paddle

and ani is acting as coxswain. the rest of us

sitting, watching occasional whirlpools

as they kick back from oarstrokes,

go behind, go away. gui takes photos, kev

talks bollocks and through reeds, dragonflies

show a blue detail – a mirrored blue scaling

and steel. small as fingernails, some

big as fingers, all about and all landing,

taking off and fucking mid-air.

a jetty is westward – picked arbitrarily

as a waypoint. striking mud we sit

down, drink the beers and talk mock

sailor-language elaborately – we know

words like starboard, port and jetty,

like coxswain and astern.

All Rights. DS Maolalai.

DS Maolalai has received nine nominations for Best of the Net and seven for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in three collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016), "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019) and Noble Rot (Turas Press, 2022)

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