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  • Jimmy Broccoli

He and I Whittling Wooden Boats by the Crik

He and I are whittling wooden boats –

and I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing –

I’m a city boy and know how to drink alcohol at the pub

and can shoot pool balls into the pockets like a motherfucking all-star

He tells me I swear too much

He and I are whittling wooden boats –

sitting on a just-barely-out-of-town dock by a lake –

or a crik, or a stream (or some body of water I know little about)

We go for a short walk (to stretch the legs)

“What are you doing?”, I ask him –

as I watch him pick a flower-thing off a bush, then pull on the stem and then watch him put it into his mouth.

“It’s, honeysuckle”, he laughs –

and I don’t know what that is and don’t want to seem ignorant

“Maybe we’ll see fireflies”, I say randomly

“I reckon you mean lighnin’ bugs”, he says with a coy smile

And I wonder if I should tell him I know what a hootenanny is –

I saw a YouTube video on it once

It involves a fiddler and a barn and stacks of hay –

And a bunch of poorly dressed drunk people moving about and having fun -

and that’s all I know about it

We’re back at the dock - he and I are whittling wooden boats –

and mine looks more like a potato than a boat

“Nice work, handsome”, he tells me – and I blush

We sit on the isolated dock by the crik

He shows me how to pull the stem from the flower-thing – from the honeysuckle – and I totally don’t get it

Then - we release our wooden boats –

My wooden boat topples over, like a drunken man or like a potato in water –

while his floats and moves down the crik – and it keeps going

And – suddenly – or, just for a moment – I get it

The honeysuckle in my mouth tastes sweet –

and I’m cheering on his wooden boat

He picks up my wooden boat from out of the water –

it landed between two rocks in the crik when it toppled over

“I think it’s beautiful”, he tells me

And it still totally looks more like a potato than a boat

“May I keep it?”, he asks – and I tell him yes

I taste the sweetness of honeysuckle again, willingly – and listen (gently) to the soothing sounds of the crik

as he and I lay next to each other, silently on the dock –

I listen to the sounds of the birds being birds – and see those who fly, fly above

- and I don’t yet know what any of this means –

but something tells me this is important

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli

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