One day as I stood watching those great waves,
It came into my mind that if I went in among them then I should never get away.
That same moment I turned and fled, as fast as my feet
Could carry me, ever farther from that sea.
And in my mad flight from the one ocean,
I found unendurable the sound of those breakers that I should ever hear again;
In my evil I chased mirages of the desert
And found myself unsatisfied, empty, hurt.
At last, desperate, dying of what I’d chosen,
I thought I’d risk dabbling in that sea, even though I would be swept away if it rose.
Even then I feared and only dared to wet my feet
Lest in a tide stronger than I, I find me.
After a last flight, farther than before
So very weary, sick, hateful of myself, I dared to venture in beyond the shore
And, as I’d long known I would be, was caught in that tide:
Washed away, beyond hope of successful flight.
Dirty, evil, wrath-deserving, I’d dove
Into that wild ocean’s cleansing waters and been carried away by its white foam –
Cared not where the tide took me; I’d one need – to be clean.
I’ll ne’er escape, okay – from death’s thirst I’m free.
Copyright 2016 Raina Nightingale