Sunday, April 27, 2014

Grief Water

author’s note:

As they say in the movies: based on a true story.


In the time of intense grief
I went to the water:

I felt I needed a good washing

and only an ocean would suffice
for such monumental emotions

so I waded out into a shallow bay
toward a red sun dying on the horizon--

though we can not ford the sea
we still desire to lessen distances
between ourselves
and what lies beyond touch.

So I did not stop
until the cool waters
made my chest--my heart--

I'd immersed myself in
a dismal brown brew
rank with oil splotches
riding agitated waves
bloodied by the sunset.

Yet somehow, in a few moments
I cleared--I calmed--

I became a man finding himself
by losing himself
as he reawakened to a life, to a world
so pleasantly strange

until I suddenly realized
I had reached the border
inhabited by that hypnotic
unseen siren
who silently coaxes you
to take that extra step

long before you’re ready.

So I dredged my feet up
from the water muck--
I walked myself back out:

with the sense
that my little trip
had turned a switch--
I still don’t understand the mechanism--
I just know: after what was less than ritual
I felt solidly strong: I could work again.

To be honest,
I still carried the grief--
but not as a shadow on my back;
now, as one might cradle a baby.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
MYTH STEPS: the book

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