Poem: Far From Invincible

Far From Invincible

The sea wall reaches out into the ocean,
designed to break the force of storms,
huge stones, carved square and piled
one on the other, a wide line of barrier,
not quite, really, walls; in the worst of storms
the ocean roars over them, but
for the milder weather, the squalls
and summer showers, the wall does its job,
calming the harbor.

In the summer, I walk to the end,
over tipsy topsy stone blocks,
an unsettled, still walkway,
littered with broken clam shells,
meals for the seagulls who dash the shells
against the stone to open them.
The shells remain until the next strong weather
washes them clean.
You walk to the end, the last stone
and sit, staring into the sea.

I am blind in one eye,
leaving me with a narrow field of view.
The land to each side of the channel
are lost to your vision.
There is only ocean and sky.
Waves and seagulls. In the distance, seals cry.
All part of the music.

As a child, you would have stood on the stone
in a pose of victory, standing, arms high and spread,
fists pumping, sure of yourself
and sure of the stones, invincible.
Not so today. Today you sit peacefully,
far from invincible, simply grateful
for this morning of peace,
for surviving the last storm,
savoring the sea
while waiting for the next.

About this poem

Age teaches limitations. But also gratitude. Survival is a sweet, sweet gift.

I have a weakness for sea walls. I have many, many pictures of them in places I have traveled. Most of them I have walked and climbed over.

The picture was taken at Kennebunkport, Maine.


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