Old Boat

The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor 
of old men is their gray head. 
Proverbs 20:29

Like the man 
Who once rowed you

Out onto the sparkling surface of the lake,
You have been turned upside down
You are topsy-turvy;
Your out-going’s have been sideswiped.
You never thought you would sit so long
You might feel—if you felt—forgotten, unneeded, unused,
Bypassed for younger livelier models
Your paint peels; you have learned to 
Accept dents and spots of rust
But you should know we recall
Days when you hosted fishermen and fisher-boys.
With laughter and conversations,
Along with squeals of delight 
Echoing out across the water.
We recall how lovely a blue you used to be; 
We remember quiet trips out on the moonshiny lake.
Now we remember and treasure the memories
Still, you make us smile and laugh
We still feel safe knowing you are here.
 Like your owner, with family sheltered in his heart;
You shelter still, if only a rabbit on a cold day. 
Like your owner, you can never be replaced 
Though newer models come 
To help with some of the hauling and carrying.
Those dents and bits of rust and peeled paint 
Like his scars, age spots, and wrinkles 
Only makes you, like him, more precious to us 
They tell the stories of your life;
They show the measure of your days
Your worth immeasurable,
As his.

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