From the other side

water laps the twelfth step
the ferry can ply its trade today
we climb down into the boat
launch into a rising flood
the river full but still gentle
the boat glides through the water
edges into the stream
the rower pulls long and hard
heads across the current
struggles against the flow
the oars dig deep,
brown water swirls
eddies after each stroke
we reach the other bank safely
water trickles from the shipped oars
pools on the muddy floorboards
we climb the steps on the other side
a passenger voices concern
the ferryman slowly replies
we’ve plied this crossing
for six hundred and fifty years
never lost anyone yet
always eventually found