They settled on a course, it wasn’t all she hoped
but at least she wasn’t alone, or was she?
One night in a storm the one she loved
capsized their lives and swam away.
She was stunned, almost drowning
desperately adrift in a heartless sea
where the ocean and its mysteries
were strange ruthless teachers.

She’d swallowed a lot of brine in her lifetime
and was at last coughed up
entangled in the churnings of kelp, frayed ropes
and torn sails on the shore at my feet.
Beautiful creature.
I believed the sea had delivered her to me
in all her flawlessness and all her sorrow
right there as she was on that spot
surrounded by her fragments --
shattered pieces mother-of-pearl
and exploded seaglass glinting up at me
like incandescent stars she rescued
from the ocean floor
with broken seashells from her travels
relics from the cruelest storms.

I took her home, tried to nurse her wounds
and make or will her strong again
as if that strength could come from me
thinking all she needed was a little rest
some compassion, a gentle heart.
As much as I could
I loved her, and to my surprise
as much as she was able she loved me back
warming and soothing me deeply.

But before long she needed to return
to go back out to the ocean
setting her own course alone.
And the love itself? If this was the Love
we’d both been longing for,
wouldn't it be a better union
if she returned when she was better for it?
Wouldn't it be there when it would, if it could
if it should be?

Me, I had to let her go, to learn and feel
all she needed.
And it had to be all right, you know.
Suddenly, impossibly, my life was even
more distraught than it had been before her.
But I had to stay calm and I had to hold on –
besides, I had mysteries of my own
many nets to untangle, so much work to do.
I had no choice but to let her leave
and see how the tide would go.

These days, sometimes I watch the shoreline
contemplating at my window
or sit up on the roof when my day’s work is done
gazing way out as the sun falls into the ocean.
I pray for Strength for both of us, I pray for Hope
I pray about Love, and I let it flow.