W Roger Carlisle: Choctawhatchee Bay

We sailed in silence across Choctawhatchee Bay
past Choctaw beach, Okaloosa Island, through
the narrows at Destin.

You’d been gone 5 years by then,
and now you were our honored guest.

You rested in a ceramic urn
in a cup holder on the boat.

The idea was to spread you gently
on the water’s surface.

We took turns returning you to the sea,
throwing your parts in the water like grass seed
on a lawn watered with our tears.

You would float on the bay
until you reached the corners of the world.

We could hear you and dad teasing us.
“We’ll meet you at that heavenly golf course someday.”

We stood there in silence
listening to them laughing.

under the bridge, out past the bay,
overlooking the sea.

W Roger Carlisle is a 75-year-old, semi-retired physician. He currently volunteers and works in a free medical clinic for patients living in poverty. He grew up in Oklahoma and was a history major in college. He has been writing poetry for 11 years. He is on a journey of returning home to better understand himself through poetry. He hopes that he is becoming more humble in the process.


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