The Sea breathes gently in my ears
as the light surf strokes the rocky sand
in an ancient song that began before the invention of time.
It was not long ago that I mastered the art of scampering
across this rugged Maine shoreline,
first carefully testing each step
then hopping from rock to rough patch of sand
to slippery seaweed covered ledge.
It was here I first learned about beauty,
that the pulse of nature that surrounds us,
is the same that sustains us from within.
Today my feet skip and spring in graceful memory
of the rhythm I have danced so many times gone by.
Today I find new meaning in this timeless,
perpetually shaping coast.
Today I understand the wisdom
in the lessons learned here.
For it is honest and wise to be cautious before stepping,
But there will come a time we must trust in the dance,
and only in letting go do we learn to leap.
As I crossed over the Portsmouth bridge into Maine this afternoon,
I saw a flock of white seagulls fly over the deep blue river.
They dissipated into the grey winter forest,
somehow making me feel at home,
along with the muddy patches of melting snow,
and the vivid shifting sky,
over permeating stillness:
Solitude at peace with itself.
I used to see it all as a trap, an icy prison,
of timber and water.
But today there are moments,
in my messy world of cement and tangled bodies,
that I long to disappear,
like the gulls,
into the wisdom of these ancient pines
and crispy thawing streams.
Music gives me the power to love.
Love gives me the courage to fail,
the permission to be flawed,
the insight that there are many Ways
and more than one answer.
Faith gives me the wisdom to be patient,
to believe in signs,
to learn from my emotions
and to simply be.
My voice is hidden behind the curtains,
in the corner of the room,
quite aware you won’t notice it is missing.
But that’s what happens,
when you let yourself sink into the covers,
never to rise,
until the world shifts its course.
I try to change the paintings on the walls around you,
as not to disturb your fitful slumber,
but so that when you wake,
you will be overtaken,
Nevertheless, the world will continue its course,
with or without our feelings,
so I just let my voice cower under the cool draft,
sinking in from the cracked window.
In the bathroom,
I let my sight,
spill on to the floor.
It makes me lighter.
That way my ears can float,
on the adagio notes that waft in,
from the kitchen,
in our sticky apartment.
My body continues,
its assiduous routine;
wishing its agitation will stir you back,
The gray textured mountain ranges and ravines,
of our Sunday morning bedspread,
envelop my sick toddler.
She whimpers in her light sleep,
her binky quietly chirping,
as she suckles it.
My pajama top is clutched,
in her pudgy little hand,
to ensure that I must remain at her side.
In the kitchen,
there is a disaster scene of an early morning breakfast,
In the bathroom there are also remnants on the floor:
soiled baby clothing, a damp hoody towel,
and droplets of sticky cherry medicine.
Later I will plan my escape, then my industrial cleaning fury.
For now, I succumb to her tiny,
but powerful grasp.
Letting myself melt into the folds of the comforter,
I snuggle close to the radiant heat,
of my stricken cherub.
To wring a poem from my gut,
there’s nothing like infuriation,
with acid reflux burning,
comes a verbal deviation.
My words seethe from every crack,
I say only in a sarcophagus,
would you be able to silence,
this woman’s throbbing esophagus.
in the face of calamity,
give me a Pepcid Ac
of God’s magnanimity.
Fortified by my seeming indifference and prescription –dulled demeanor,
the tears don’t leak until days later,
in the safety of solitude.
Your weakness has become me,
questions batter my mind with guilt and grief;
Was it my perfectionism? Was I too demanding? What else could I have done?
I tried and tried and tried
to give you all and more,
taking out emotional loans
that you could never repay.
Maybe I made you dependent.
Maybe I smothered you with my
Maybe there’s nothing I could’ve of done.
Maybe there’s nothing I can do except wait to see
If you find the strength,
If you accept the chance,
If you give up on this erred identity,
And forge a new self,
Humbler but wise,
Simpler but true,
Feebler but Grace-ful.