• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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I grew up

on the world's smallest, inhabited island
in a river with a split nationality—
little more than a sandbar
bobbing in the St. Lawrence.

Before I obtained official sea legs,
The Thousand Islands Nomination Committee
concluded: “To be an island,
one must possess two qualities:
an ability to tread water, and
sustain two trees, or shrubs,

Like every wealthy idiot
who builds amidst
a constant, erosive force,
my parents had more money
than brains.

Placing a premium on privacy,
they planted the requisite trees,
built an island-sized cottage
on the cottage-sized island,
and immediately became the focus
of recreational watercraft rubbernecking.

Ma-maw and Pa-paw Sizeland renamed
Hub Island—their get-away illusion
amidst the current— to Just Room Enough
without hint of irony.


I grew up

"Go play outside!"
took on unique meaning for me.
Ball sports were out of the question.
One misstep, one errant bounce,
and I was swimming.
Being an only child meant
water polo wasn't an option either.

My freak show existence provided
relationships with gulls, and a gorgeous view—
others’ social lives on the waves.

Emotional leverage
I would otherwise have
as a childish landlubber yelling,
"I'll run away from home!"
turned into a hollow threat.

I couldn't even figure out
how to paddle Pa-paw's canoe.