The Voyage of Regret

16 September 2017

I waited for the sea
to break,
rip white
through the metallic
grey water,
to prove the sea
was a living body,
and not a flat, passive
surface the boat sat glued to.

A seabird perched, brooding,
on the railing, astern,
a free lift for him
across part of the expanse.
No land appeared
in any direction.
Posed there, he was
an emblem of calm,
an emblem helping anchor
my impatience with
going nowhere.

I chided myself.  What was
the hurry?  Let the sea
be the sea.  I was at sea
because I chose to be.
The sea gives; land, less so.
At sea, I could move
more freely, save when it slept,
as it slept at present.
What dream held the sea entranced?

Motion took hold,
at some point in the night,
the boat rocked loose
from the sandbar of dream
the sea had wakened from.
Up on deck, next morn,
no bird perched, astern.
And I sensed, a thing
I should have come to know,
had taken flight, was gone,
a sensing I will live with
until my death.

Philip Kuepper
(19 March 2017)

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