Crossings II


It was the twittering of the birds intruding into my meditation that reminded me of berries and so I left the cottage carrying my pail and wearing a thin cotton shift and my floppy straw hat for protection from the late morning sun. Determined to collect at least my share of berries from the rambling bushes alongside the road before the birds had them all.  The sun was flinty hot and I quickly moved my bare feet down the salt bleached wooden steps when my eye was caught by something at the horizon reflecting like a reminder or a mirage or a question I did not want to hear.  I had to shade my eyes with my hands and look quickly up and away as the sun was so intense reflecting off green water and white-hot sand.  I could feel my heart catch slightly and then the anger like a big dog come to protect tightening against my chest.  This place where I finally sought refuge from you and your incessant lying has protected me and held me hostage from you all of these years.  Is it my dream that has invented you there at horizon’s deepening edge sailing imperceptibly towards me?  Is this my desire having grown so large as to have left my body and become you finally coming for me.  I do not want the tears to flow down my face anymore.  I do not want the sun to dry them salty and tight against my skin.  I do not want to feel this ache and yet I want to sing for the possibility of you, over there on the horizon, coming for me at last. And I forget the berries and stare into the afternoon haze knowing that soon the sea will shift and once again I will not know what I am looking at or what I thought I saw.  I am here alone with the sea, the sand, a few brown birds, a few red berries bursting with juice; what I will hold in my mouth while I swallow hard against the impossibility of this love.