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Sabbatical Poetry - "Open Water"

Open Water

by Leigh Sackett

I approach you,

not knowing what you hold.

You look one way on the surface,

but just below you whirl and swirl; flow and push and pull.

My arms are no match for your hidden force,

and then there is the 80 pound dog in the bow.

You tease me and make me believe the dropped pin is close,

yet your expanse keeps rolling on before us.

Like a wayward child,

I never know what to expect from you.

How can you be steady and cantankerous?

How can you be gentle and fierce?

How can you be so quiet and suddenly stir into a rage?

When you overwhelm me, I back into your serene canals, and wait for you to calm down.

I am sheltered by these winding paths,

but I am never alone here.

I watch the herons and hear the beckoning call of the Candy Bird.

I peer through the tall lush grasses to see if it is truly greener on the other side.

I watch the crab scuttle towards and away from my fingertips.

I smell that approaching low-tide fragrance.

Can you bottle it?

Would anyone want to?

The scent described as sea air mixed with pungent muddy muck.

Made for you, by thousands of little scurrying critters invested in the busyness of swamp living.

I lean back as I lean forward into the peace of this place.

I wait,

noticing all these things and noticing nothing.

Time passes with no consequence, your temper tantrum ends,

I peek out.

I approach you.

Not knowing what you hold.

And so grateful in my not knowing.


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