Before we reached the bank two twelve year olds
were on the water in the good canoe.
Both Brand and I looked at our sons, their coup
apparent as they grinned at us, both bold
enough to know that, ten feet out, they controlled
the moment even though the wind still blew
and rain was falling hard, the clouds a stew
of swirling turbulence and cold.
Okay, Brand said. Inside the inlet, calm
prevailed, but as we went into the lake
the waves were higher than our heads. The qualms
I’d had at seeing youngsters make their break
to manhood with a crazymad aplomb
unmanned me–as they left me in their wake.
Note: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Brand Windmiller, Jesse Windmiller, Brand’s grandson Braxton, my grandson Will Bingen, and I spent a few days at an unimproved campsite north of Minoqua Wisconsin. I am reprinting this sonnet written while our son, Kevin, was dying of cancer, in memory of that trip as I relived a glorious part of my life that Brand and Jesse were so instrumental in helping to make happen. I will be forever grateful for that special time with my son. A couple of photos from the Minoqua trip are below: