Poem #25

I’ve been working on some really big projects these last few months, which means less time for writing smaller pieces like short stories and poems. I’ve begun to rummage around the treasure trove of old poems, and I’m not horrified. There’s a lot of feeling here, but at least it’s true. Please, enjoy this piece and be on the look out for some really big news here soon.


I forget about the riptide
after the waves have passed,
finally beyond bobbing for breath
and relearning how to pull & push,
propelling close to joy; shipwreck
left behind as I flee toward land.
I forget about the riptide
as sand pillows my feet then find
myself swept back under, choking
on salt that sears my sight,
whipped back out to sea, drowning
once more. I tumble, head over heels
all over again bereft of bearing.
Plunge down ever deeper, barely
break tension heavy surface.
I forget about the riptide,
but remember swimming parallel
as a child dragged out one summer.
The lifeguard told my grandmother
that drowning isn’t the fear,
it’s exhaustion when beating back
relentless undertow that aims to feed
its fishy kin pinched, raisiny flesh.
Swim parallel to escape the pull,
sidestep the problem as you were trained,
ease your way onto land as if sneaking.
I forget about the riptide
but it doesn’t forget me.


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