Billy Collins

Launch

A boat is sliding into the water today

to test the water and the boat

which glides down a grassy bank

the prow touching the wavelets

then another push

and the length of it up and buoyant

the tapered length of it floating

toward the middle on its own

as we watch from the shore

pointing to the heavy clouds coming in

from every side

but now above us only the sun's golden rafters

and the boat afloat

out there on the bright surface of the water.