Life on the Shore

These waters are hungry, and I’m hungry

To eat would be to drown

So I thrash in hopes of dry land

It’s hard to see through stinging eyes and I send an arm flailing forth

I gulp the waters hoping for sweetness

But all I taste is the salt

My belly made sick, filled with brackish bile

And I can’t feel it with all this water in my head

A message in a bottle says to let myself sink

So I feed myself and I’m washed to shore

 

Grounded on the earth, life greets me as I am

There are feasts to eat and there is sweet air to breathe

Mountains wait beneath a holy sky and call me to build fires along the way

Rough sands offer grit and a pride that’s earned

But the waves echo with promises to wash me clean

I feel the cold mist of those waters nipping at my throat

And the prickling terror of looking down at what is

Memories of a body submerged numb my skin and beguile me with a fantasy

The water will be warmer this time around

Illusions of beauty entrance me and the waves beckon in the distance

But I don’t follow that siren song

I feed myself and I say a prayer

 

Here on the shore, I let my lungs fill

And slowly I let my belly do the same

Still, the waves follow

I hear them roar in my ears and feel their crashes in my chest

Screaming to fill me up and hide me from the light where I must stand and be seen

But now I can be still and I can listen when God whispers

That those waves are dark, but their waters are shallow

Depth lies here on the land

It’s buried in places I didn’t know to look

Waiting for humble hands and a faith strong enough to dig

And I can see it now

So I feed myself and I begin

Advertisements