Offshore Winds

by Elizabeth Thorpe
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A sailboat with a crew of two, a childless couple who took us out with them sometimes, me and my brother, motoring out through fluorescent buoys and rowboats at rest, waiting for the lobstermen to make their way back across early morning, the wide spread of sunlight across flat calm like a glass tabletop in the type of store my parents didn’t like to let my brother go in. A kid who crashed, who kept his head down and rammed my shoulder, knocking me onto the dirt road on the way to the bus stop, on a morning I didn’t want to be awake, a morning when I would watch the way the sun fell into the woods—sun on leaves, then birch bark, boulder, moss—and wish I could follow it all day. Tracking light instead of seats on a bus, chalk on a board. Today we were on the ocean, weaving among moorings like I wove floss into bracelets that summer, one end pinned near the knee of my jeans, hands moving, calm despite my brother freewheeling around me. And for an hour he was calm too, leaning back on the deck, looking up at the sails.
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Elizabeth Thorpe’s short stories and excerpts from her novel-in-progress have appeared in Per Contra, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stolen Island Review, and The Maine Review, among others. She teaches Freshman Writing at Drexel University and Creative Writing in the University of the Arts Pre-College program. She earned her MFA in Writing from Goddard College.