I see myself
I watch from a distance
me, walking away.
I see my body.
I see my hair.
I see my feet.
toward the water.
I shout to myself
come back, wake up
before you wander too far,
before you slip away and
disappear into the waves.
I keep walking forward.
I don’t even look back.
I have never listened to myself.
Eighteen hundred miles from here there’s a place that she calls home, but it isn’t.
She left it behind long ago, this gypsy’s child who could not deny her urge to roam.
On the distant shore she still calls home there’s ocean air she longs to breathe…
the endless blue she aches to see, winds that howl all the way to her heart,
”Come home to me.”
When her longing for the ocean overwhelms her senses, she goes.
Sand castles that take so long to build; yet, never meant to last.
Waves that crash ice cold, slap against her legs, deliver burning blows, sting away her past.
As she tries to absorb the ocean through her skin the surf takes her pain and
batters it away, beats it senseless against her shins cleansing the memories from her head.
The salt in the air, the sun on her face must go straight to her head, drive her half insane
because what sort of woman lifts her body off the sand but lets her soul remain?
Still, home is just a word she doesn’t care much to define and her soul knows where it belongs.
In the early morning hours, one last plunge, she shares the waves with a wayward dog.
Their eyes meet, sentiment is shared, “This ocean it is mine, for this moment, it is mine!”
Dried kelp, empty crab shells, seaweed, rocks, she gathers with a fury she can’t explain
because what sort of woman flies to the ocean and attempts to carry it back home on a plane?
She hauls back a suitcase filled with rocks, stones of every shape and hue.
Still her ocean slips away, not even this gypsy woman can possess the bewitching blue.
She flies away, minus her soul, maybe she’ll return to stay, maybe when she is old.
Painted by many, photographed by even more, none have ever captured
the Lady’s true essence nor managed to carry home the sandy shore.
“I want to live at the ocean,” she tells him when she walks off the plane.
He mourns for the longing in her eyes, her lust for oceanfront property undisguised.
She knows the answer before he speaks, money stands between the ocean and her door.
She’ll have to settle for a visit each summer.
Meanwhile she’s returned to frozen lobster, dirty dishes, unwashed floors.
She gently arranges her cache of shells, goes back to work not quite resigned.
“If I ever sell a book,” she whispers, “I know which cottage I’ll call mine.”
by Jeanne Marie
Post Script: In 2007, my husband found a way to move us to Florida and he retired this year. We are 15 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. Dreams can come true.