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"Faster, Pop-Pop! Faster!" Our high-pitched laughter and screams compete with the sound of the wind and wake, the sputtering of the motor.


Little hands cling to the rail between the deck and bow of the pontoon boat. Our favorite summer toy.

Nanny is relaxing on the back seat and sipping from her nautically themed Tervis, "First Mate" sewed into the cloth design trapped and sealed between the layers of plastic.

Pop-Pop's navy blue cap reads "Captain."

We are four bouncing blondes at the front of the boat.

Pure joy. Enamored by the miracle of flying on water.

The air is warm. The sun is still awake, flirting with the line in the horizon where the water meets the sky.

I look to my left at the duck blind, a mark that we are almost home.

I imagine one day that someone/something will pop up from behind it.

"Faster, faster!" We know soon this trip will be done. We will be home again. The boat will have to slow down.

If I squint, I can already read the "No Wake" sign. Pop-Pop says that means the crabs are sleeping there; we have to quiet the boat, so we don't wake them.

"Shhh," I tell my brothers.

Even in my sleep I know that the alarm clock will ring soon.

If I could go back in time, I would change one thing.

Instead of yelling "Faster! Faster!", I would gently whisper, "Slower, slower."

So those dusky moments could last a little bit longer.

No wake.

No wake.

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