Posts Tagged ‘sea’

Without A Map



Silly me, I thought the boat was empty.

Thought there was no one else here to paddle

or steer. Thought I was alone and too small

to reach the rudder, too weak to lift

the great oars, somehow not seeing

the sea itself as captain, the sea itself as crew,

its waves carrying me places I never knew I needed

to go until, on that strange new shore, I found

myself exactly where I needed to be,

shipwrecked and wildly alive.

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Some things do not easily
leave the sea.
In an instant they shift
from buoyant grace
to cumbersome weight.

Remember that night
we stood beside the surf
and the whole wet world
stretched shining before us?

We wrestled the wave runner
onto the trailer, and I
felt some kinship with
those first prehistoric fish
who dragged their lobe fins
onto the beach, those fish
who, driven by what?
struggled up and out
and learned a new way to move,
a new way to breathe,
grew a new kind of skin
and a new kind of spine.

For a moment, tugging
on the wet rope,
I knew it, some hint of the drive
bred into my body
over the past four hundred
million years. How I gasped
at the gift of it all—these
legs, these lungs, this upright head,
these biceps burning
against the burden
of emergence, the glitter
of light as it leaves, the scent
of honest sweat.

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