Poem: Strange Zen

beach bush.JPG

Strange Zen

The sun bears hot on the back of your neck
and your naked toes burrow into the sand
seeking cooler places, closer to the water level inches below.

In the distance, water tides upward, consuming shoreline,
tossing rocks and shells and stray driftwood landward.

There is no storm this day. The air is still
and you can predict just how far the water will rise
before ebbing deep back into the ocean.

You know
you are safe.

You know you are safe so your mind can wander,
savoring shadows and sun, basking in memories
of love and spirit and soft flesh in the night,
wallowing in recollections gentle and harsh,
your failings, your fallings, and the times you have soared
like some vast bird of prey, wafting high on the wind.

The tide rises slowly. You barely notice.
Your geography matters less than your safety,
less than your freedom from fear
that allows you to probe each scar without pain,
without worry that you will tear them open and bleed.

It is a strange zen, this safe place.
A new thing. Magic, you think.
or perhaps biblical grace come to life.
Either way,
you have struggled to trust it, to meet its magic
with something more than hope,
to believe it.
Trust it.
Live in it, a bird freed from its cage
singing, but always looking back
to its wirey prison.

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