A Paper Boat on the Water

(A Poem)

By Lorna Ye

His tiny hand places a paper boat
on the tranquil surface of water,
giving it a solid shove, letting it
float with gentle ripples
created by his hand.
Where would it go, he wonders —
a land where mottled birds flap wings
and sing charming songs?
Or a jungle where wild animals
bounce through tangled trees and vines?
Or a magic castle where
a prince wields a sword and fights with a villain?

His eyes light up with excitement at
those thoughts, and his hand moves faster,
the paper boat sailing on the widening waves.
It’s heading somewhere,
where he can watch birds swirling and tweeting,
or venture into the tangled jungle,
or join the prince, fighting for justice.

Hurried footsteps from behind alert him —
not a wild animal or a villain,
but his mom, who
demands, “Go to your room.”
Making a last peek at his paper boat,
the little boy obediently retreats to his room.
“Why he always makes such a mess?”
with a little mutter, she drains the water
from the bathtub and throws his
paper boat in the trash.

© 2019, Lorna Ye. All Rights Reserved