Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Poem

Goodbye, My Ocean

We went to say goodbye to the ocean.
Our time in the rental was done.
The morning was ashen and cold---
Weather more for a funeral---
And waves crashed in to shore in metronymic roars.

I had brought her here as a baby years ago
---she doesn’t remember the picture of me holding her on a patio.
But she didn’t want to say goodbye.
She was tired of the ocean, the rain and cold.
Instead she danced on a dune, a slow adagio
Her eyes closed, arms outstretched, around and around.
She didn’t hear when I called
(The waves crashing and roaring)
She was way up there and I was down here,
Foreign lands separated by a strip of sand.
She performed alone for lumbering curtains of clouds.
The ocean was vast and unconcerned, and much too loud;
It had been there all week, without end.
A little girl has other things to attend.

And the surf rushed up around my soles,
Soaked the edges of my jeans.
I was not yet ready to turn away.
I could have used another day.
I don't so much return to the ocean
As the ocean returns to me.
(Words and phrases less apt the more I wish to convey)
It returns to me is the best I can say----
Albeit older now, chastened, more gray.
But the dark waters remain changeless
As the shore receives the sea,
And the years come haltingly back to me----
Inchoate fragments of images and phrases

....Skeletons of shells lie scattered on the sand in the retreat of fallen swells....

It will always be there, the abiding sea.
May it someday be there for her too----
When the dance is done, when her songs go silent,
When the clouds part and blue shines through.
One day she too may turn to the sea in silent terror or in sorrow
And gaze into an endless, merciless roiling gray----
Into her past, the days lost, a life episodic----
And vaguely recall a summer she watched her father rhapsodic
Turning slowly landward, down below, his form misted in sea spray


6/11/17

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