Breathing still: a journal entry from the past in the present


Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

Here’s an  old journal entry I dug up from 1999. I wrote it one evening as the sun set over Bohicket Creek, on the Ace basin, John’s Island, SC. I sat at Bohicket Marina, probably sipping a drink, weary from a long day in the summer sun working on boats. That time in my life was drawing to an end and I wrestled with that likelihood.  I think I was writing about a boat that sat half submerged in the creek in that moment, but I wonder sometimes what these same words mean to me now and what they’ll mean to me in the future.


The shrimper sits undisturbed, 
stern submerged gurgling the last breath
that she’s been breathing for 20 years. 

The boat silhoutted
against the setting sun, making its way
home in the afternoon.

Then, I watched it
glide over the horizon and wondered
about life on her decks, and the darkness
beyond my view.

She thrashed and rolled
in the creek, not far from open water.
Snapping, gurgling, and breaking
before her stern touched bottom. 
She’s still there, on Bohicket Creek.
A cool reminder of a storm.
I slide past her most days, slowly up
the creek in the Whaler, taking a brief
glance and listening for 
her breathing still.

I love you,

– Daddy