a poem about grounding

Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland (photo by author, all rights reserved)

in gray, foamy waters
mouthing questions;

The thin skin of your hull
and narrow sapling ribs,
a boundary between
the interior space —
the slight gunwale,
your small plank seat,
the light paddle in your lap —
and the roiling deep.

And so,
you thumb through the books,
search the map of your hands,
look up into the dark, changeable sky,
peer out to see the far distant rim of the sea bowl;

you seek the rolling, green
shape of grounding,
a resonant and welcoming shore
upon which to take refuge,
or perhaps to settle,
while this ever-brewing storm
rages out its time and
finally calms its agony.

If you close your eyes,
you see yourself,
with your feet on this vital land,
blinking in starlight
and hanging your dress to dry.

You kneel to touch this earth
and press your lips to
rich and fragrant soil
rife with growing things.

“Home”, you sing,
long and sweet.

Thank you for reading.

This poem was originally published in “The Wayfarer: 5th Anniversary Issue,” Autumn, 2017.

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