Map On

The Water

What is anyone’s life, 
But a map on the water, 
A brief tracing of light? 
The water holds
Nothing more
Than a momentary reflection,
A fallen leaf,
Yet from these transient lines
We build a ship to sail out on, 
To conquer solid ground.
At night we hold the lamplight
Up to our faces
To prove we are real,
To encourage ourselves
In the face of so much darkness. 

What is anyone’s life
Without the water
Onto which it is born, 
The mud, fickle, yielding, 
Holding us there
Until we fall,
The reeds, illuminated, 
Growing from the mulch. 
What is anyone’s life
But given up to the world
The same as any other, 
In gratitude, in hope
That the trees in the future
Will continue their swaying. 
What is a map on the water
But a way to sail home.

–Eve Wood