by Marianne Peel
Will you step out of the boat with me? When the water is stirred and the turbulence is swirling at your naked feet, will you risk the waters? Come, says the ghostlike figure on the water. Come toward me. Just come. Peter seldom receives the answer he thinks he is going to get. Instead, he is coaxed to step out of the boat. To walk on wretched waters. To trust. To risk. And vulnerable, he steps out of the boat. Buoyed up, he enters roiling waters surrounded by winds and storm. And he is balanced, held up by a belief in what this prophet man has promised. And when he falters, when his faith shivers in the storm, the hand of his rabbi is there to steady him, to lift him, to reassure him of his presence. Vulnerable, he steps out of the boat. And I, too, question my willingness to risk. Cocoons are safer, more protected. Shelter from the storm. But on this day, when everyone is alone and maybe lonely, I trust in that hand. Come. Come to me. And so, vulnerable, I step out of the boat.
A middle/high school English teacher for 32 years, Marianne Peel now nurtures her own creativity. She spent three summers teaching in China; received Fulbright Awards to Nepal and Turkey. Marianne’s poetry appears in Muddy River Review, Jelly Bucket, Comstock Review, among others. Her debut collection, No Distance Between Us, was published by Shadelandhouse Modern Press in 2021.