Friday, October 21, 2011
The Drowning Woman
has gone under twice.
She thinks how more than two-thirds of her life
has passed, so soon, before her eyes.
Treading memories for a long time now,
she catches pieces of visions at the shoreline,
where flaxen-haired children
wave and call out to her,
rising from the sweet solid ground. Spent,
she leans toward them, willing them to stay.
The present is all deep water
pulling her farther away from that young woman
reclining on a blanket, her skin glistening with oil.
Her husband empties sand from his shoes,
while their children run
through shallow waves endlessly lapping,
lapping where the sand sparkles with seashells.
The sun is butter.
The children wave and call again before her third sinking.
The drowning woman longs to touch them,
can almost reach them with her outstretched arms.
Her legs run in place
as they have always done.
The past is breath in her mouth, opened
in despair, singing the words of
The Grateful Dead: My love for you will not
fade away, not fade away.
The future is light drifting like water,
light emptying itself on the white
beaches of the earth, on the sidewalks of cities,
at roadsides where the dying watch
from the corners of their eyes
their own ghosts rising,
crying out that love, love
will not fade away.
Joyce Ellen Davis 10/18/11