You came with the force
of the crushing surf,
casting me down into the hard wet shore.
No choice but to let the surging waves
keep on breaking over me.
When I get my breath,
I can crawl up to the dry sand;
the dunes in the distance
are the way home,
but I'll have to take my time
(no spring in my step)
looking for cover along the way.
And finally, to look around and watch
the western sandpipers and snowy plovers
search for the day's catch
in the glittering, receding waves.
No, I can't bring myself to embrace you,
but I'm starting to discern
a path as I push my way over the dunes,
learning to pray with more passion and understanding
for other strugglers,
see the grace of a passing cloud formation
and the sheer joy of white pelicans
in synchronized flight over the curling, undulating ocean.