Rough now, my feet off the edge
of the sunfish rushing farther
from the shore where

my father, a mere speck,
paces back and forth in front
of the lifeguard stand, his arms

waving semaphores I pretend
I canít see, no less understand.
† Iím beyond his whistle.

Itís the Gulf Stream I head for,
its blue ink and the creatures that break
its rough surface Ė I know

the Winslow Homer painting.†
If art is for anything, itís for
getting us away from anything

that holds us back, anything that keeps
us from entering the deep water.†
Anything that keeps us from feeling

the fear that owns us anytime
the great gray shadow prowls
beneath the paltry shadow we throw.

In the rough water where
the current quickens and the sail
pulls at its stays, the fear returns to itself,

unable to keep us from heading out
past our limits, the limits of others,
while we do our work.


Tim Tomlinson

Tim Tomlinson is a co-founder of New York Writers Workshop, and co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing. †He is the fiction editor of the webzine Ducts. †In 2010 his fiction and poems have appeared in BlazeVOX, Corium, Foliate Oak, FRiGG, The Legendary, Lunarosity, Magnapoets, Medulla Review, Milk Money, Orange Room Review, Pank, Salt River Review, Scythe, Tattoo Highway, Tipton Poetry Review, Tomís Voice, Underground Voices, Word Riot, and the anthology Multi-Culti Mixterations.†

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