The Sea.

2015-07-18 17.11.28 Warrnambool Breakwater Blog

Grey clouds glower;
A salty breeze bites my face.
The ocean whips into white points,
Hungrily reaching for something to devour.
I dare not let myself go near it today.

Instead, I sit by the old anchor
Nestled in the first tufts of grass
At the top of the beach.
It’s cold and uncaring,
Impersonal, and no company at all,
But it gives me some sense of security.
I envy its stability.
It knows its place.
It only needed to be itself
To do what it was meant to do.
Some days the sea is gentle,
Small waves lapping at my feet
As I hug my knees and
Gaze into the distance,
Wishing for something different,
Longing for things to change.
Cold.

Mischievous.

Tempting.

It seems so much less
Sinister
Than it really is.
Some days, I sit on the shore
Watching it heave and crash,
Knowing its force, and
Thankful that it’s not
Turning me upside down,
Dumping me mercilessly,
Leaving me with nothing
But pockets full of sand.
I’ve been there.
Struggling to breathe – no!
To hold my breath,
Survive, stay afloat.
A few seconds to gulp greedily at the air
Then I am gone again,
Losing all sense of direction,
The plaything of the waves.

I’ve limped from the sea and
Collapsed on the shore,
Wondering how I hadn’t seen
The breaker that overwhelmed me.
It’s odd –
The cold doesn’t numb the senses.
It sharpens perception,
Heightens the pain,
Deepens the wounds.
Some of those wounds still haven’t healed.

I feel him before I see him.
He’s watching me,
Knowing where I have come from,
Understanding the storm that threatens.
I remember the day when
He rescued me from the sea.
It nearly won.
I was almost gone.
Then I was salvaged by his strong arms,
Beautiful hands, lifting me,
Carrying me, wrapping me
In his protective embrace.
His warmth radiated into the
Saddest, loneliest places
Within me.
Softly spoken words of reassurance –
He’s got me,
Nothing to fear,
I’m safe now.
He is beside me now,
His arm around my back,
His strength protecting me
From the elements.
He’s got me.
Nothing to fear.
I’m safe now.
The tide recedes
Except for the droplet
Weaving a solitary path
Down my cheek
As it chases after the sea
From whence it came.

 

©2016 Joanne Van Leerdam.

This poem is one of the 55 poems in Nova.    www.jvlpoet.com/books

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