The rowers cut their oars in the water, barely making a ripple with the hull reaching downstream. The crew teams, with their coxswain folded in half and still, glided by scullers as two motor boats from the universities cut arcs in the water with their wakes. The riverbank trees were still brittle from the cold, and the respite in the winter sun sucked them bone dry while they looked on at the frenzy of activity on the Schuylkill.
I ran on along the shore, like an ant crawling on a tree, with my head turned to the side in a vain attempt to stay with the rowers as they sliced the water with their hatchet blade oars, devouring distance with hungry jaws. Kind cuts cannot damage water bark made from waves, leaving the river and its tributaries be, the branches extending over land away from the ocean instead of skyward. I followed the main trunk of the river on my run, knowing I won’t make it to the Delaware today, as the rowers raced down to Boathouse Row.
Maybe one day I’ll follow the river, traversing over buildings, swimming around dams, and scuttling across silent streets to arrive at the wide Atlantic blue, enjoying the view from the river’s base.