Like a Silent Spectre

Like a Silent Spectre

A Poem by Meredith Betz


In the boathouse on the Upper Lake

Sandwiching with friends, waiting for the rain to subside


A distant loon keens and a merganser family glides

Ushering a phantom guide boat

Emerging through the mist

And bearing its silent passengers toward our shelter


Two little boys backpacked and blonde

Trip onto the deck

The younger brandishing a finger splinted with a twig

Waves wounded and brave

As if he had slain a dragon


I am transported to the years long ago

When my own little blonde boy

Made a bike that could fly

And a built a house under San Francisco Bay

And took on cars and mountains

A fierce warrior who

exhausted from battle

Would crawl up on my lap

Telling me of his exploits


            No longer


Then this splinted boy pivots

Joins his family

And the boat like a silent specter

Vanishes in the mist.


So what remains are friends

Waiting in the boathouse

Until the shower ends.

Meredith Betz, MSOD, MSEd, is a teacher, facilitator, writer and consultant with a penchant for storytelling. With years of experience in writing for the nonprofit sector, she coaches nonprofits and their leaders as they tell their compelling stories.

A published author, Meredith is a contributor to the Nonprofit Quarterly. She is a certified Guided Autobiography facilitator who helps individuals write their life histories because she believes that everyone has a story that must not go untold.

Currently, Meredith is co-writing memoir for a 101-year-old Estonian man and is writing a book chronicling her experience as a memoirist. For fun, she writes short stories about eccentric characters doing extraordinary things.