warm currents swirl around you
sudden shifts of cold stiffen skin
over and again you are pinned against the reefs
fear rising like fingers of coral.

you were not made for this place.

you have met the eyes of sailors trapped in sunken ships
stayed beside them until stillness replaced grief
offered what comfort you could
your tears murky brine.

no wooden hull holds you
no anchor to this sandy floor
yet you are tethered
left to wonder what   or who
might still your grief
release you from this dark surrender

shafts of light pierce water’s surface
as if to pull you to the blue above
an ancient call beseeches
dream           grow wings            rise

• • • •

This poem was published alongside Four Gospels of the Natural World (sculpture) by Brad Burkhart on his Poetry Book Project.