Paddleboarding

The Paddleboard Race

Originally published in Unique Poetry

A paddleboard race sounded like a wonderful idea

because summer is ending and the island is still.

Could a summer of paddling endlessly on this lake

deny me one last chance to show off my athletic prowess?


Every person left on this island, however, is here:

forget about summer ending--where did they all come from?

Guessing “10000” offseason residents love to paddleboard,

how could I think this was going to be just a casual row?


Imagine a Lake with over 150 paddleboarders,

juxtaposed with the seagulls swarming overhead.

Kayaks, canoes, and other boats are participating too.

Lovely weather and a calm lake brings them out of the woodwork--

Moms and Dads and their kids and their dogs and even Granny!

No way I expected to see Fido upright in his doggie life jacket on the front of that board;

Overloading my senses, I hear splashing, talking, and barking.


Perhaps this was a mistake, I think nervously at the starting line.

Questioning myself now—while upright and finding my balance—may not be the best move

Race time is upon us, and the gun goes off.

Surprised by the mass movement, I realize I have been hit

Thump! a rogue reckless rowboat rattles my paddleboard


Underwater is where I find myself,

annoyed, as my head pops up from the waves, feet hit the sandy ground (it is a shallow pond).

“We have our first man down” I hear from below.

Exasperated, I feel like a flopping fish trying to get back onto the board;

Yes, I have that honor. Today I will come in first in one event--although I am a 

Zero in the record books, I have the honor of being the first in the slimy water.