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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 3, September 2016

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J. Zimmerman
Santa Cruz, California, USA


Questions to My Twin About Kayaking

Did you notice that no other kayakers were launching in the harbor, and all the yacht masts were tilting and their riggings rattling and whining, and the wind and tide were flinging waves over the sea wall?

Was it easy to begin paddling downwind away from the sea, five miles into the slough? But a bit harder on the first half of the return, even though you were in the lee of the pickleweed dikes and the hills of pasture?

You didn’t see that not one pelican or gull was flying? That they all huddled, sheltered in vegetation and behind rocks?

breakup quarrel
the fray
of cumulus

When you rounded the big bend to finally head directly west across more than two miles of open water between you and the Pacific, into the jaws of the thirty-five-mile-per-hour wind and the tide rising against you, did you exhaust yourself in an hour in which you moved forward less than half a mile? And thereafter were you blown persistently back?

depth of winter
all the credit cards
I should cut up

Would it have been less embarrassing to pull the kayak to safety above the high-tide zone and to slog across two miles of knee-deep mud flats instead of doing that diabolical thing that you hate idiots for doing . . . phone for a rescue from the Coast Guard?

Were your teeth chattering so hard almost an hour later that you had to clench them when the rescuers arrived so they would be less solicitous?

Pearl Harbor Day
what did you know
before I did?

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