The boat has not always been empty.
Where there once was a boy, there sits a feather fallen from some sea bird overhead—a frown curved over the edge of the seat. An oar drifts and taps a metronome on the starboard side; the hands that rowed and blistered cast off with its mate somewhere in the middle of the ocean.
Bereft of its cargo, the wood sags but the water is patient. The storm cracked the hull and stole the boy, and soon the boat will sink salt-full to the seabed.
A gulp, swallow, choke and then—at last—rest.