We All Go Boating | Teen Ink

We All Go Boating

January 19, 2011
By theburlapcurtains PLATINUM, Cincinnati, Ohio
theburlapcurtains PLATINUM, Cincinnati, Ohio
23 articles 0 photos 1 comment

When a child disappears into the unavoidable darkness, that is, when a child dies, the youth will not get into the same ferry that you or I would. No, no. They will end up at the same place eventually but their road must be different. They will walk down the small path that branches off of ours. They follow the little path that has been worn smooth by countless tiny footprints. The elders carry the infants of course. It does not matter who knew whom in life, because this is something wholly different. No one can say how long they walk on this road, not even the children themselves. But when the end does come it leads to the same river, same water, and the same shadowy depths as we will see one day. But there is no ferryman. And no toll. The chink of coins in little pockets was not heard on the way there. Those who die so young have no debt to pay.
Though there is no ferryman, there is a boat. It’s a small wooden contraption that sits lightly on the water. All the children are, of course, afraid. For they always were and always will be. Only one child can fit into the tiny boat for a voyage. It’s a rule that a person must sail alone. Many of our lost young wait shivering on that dark shore, waiting for that tiny boat to return empty, ready for its next passenger. The line will always be long and it grows day by day. But we all must sail on.

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