Patuxent by Thomas Park at



written by: Thomas Park



Mild winters, cool summers
Backyard angled down to brackish river

Small sailboat, bright yellow
“Sunflower”, anchored
Near the water

Walk a mile to the North
To narrow channel, rapid waters
Churning into larger bodies

Once jettisoned, scores of jellyfish
Floated gracefully, trailing tentacles

The neighbor’s dog, brown and gentle
Quietly sunning, yawned broadly

Friends were made quickly near the naval base
Where families moved so often
Military families
Our school called “Esperanza”

At the oyster-shucking festival
Shared carnival rides
With the principal’s daughter

Once, a small group sailed out into the bay
Spent a day and a night on the waters

After sunset, boat rocking
I fell asleep,
Safe, on the tides, as in Father’s arms

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