If I Let It Slip

by silvershoes   Aug 9, 2022

I was smiling at the red sun over the blue sea.
I was watching the waves, rolling linens fluttering in the wind.
I was listening to the sails billowing, dusty rags shaken out.
I was feeling the wheel tug softly in my slack hands,
the beckoning pull of calm winds rocking me.
I was marveling at how beautiful life can be, here on the water;
Here in the arms of the Great Mother.

But then a lurch;
A heave that floors me.
Screams erupt from stowaway seagulls shaken from their perches
And I’m on my knees.
I’m scrambling for purchase.
What’s happening?
But I know the answer as I ask it: I let myself slip.

Spindling arms creep over the rails.

The creature waits for me always, below,
Lurking in the dark and quiet, waiting patiently.
The creature feels me slip into reverie;
Senses my lull into peace and cannot stand it.
She draws herself up and grabs ahold to remind me that the Great Mother,
Whom I love, has brought me anguish more often than joy.

I rise to tired feet, grab the wheel, eyes staring straight ahead.
I grimace as my ship veers into a crashing wave,
Salty spray spilling violently over the prow.
I grit my jaw and point my chin stubbornly, preparedly,
and I feel the dull, sour ache in my heart return.

The tentacled arms slip back into the water, reluctantly.
I’m paying attention again.
She’ll leave me be if I’m vigilant;
waiting always, waiting below.

The sky turns charcoal gray.
The sea reflects it like a cauldron of tar.
I’m struggling to keep my ship upright.

I scold myself and whisper:
Don’t let yourself slip again.


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Latest Comments

  • 1 year ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    Really missed your poetry, and this has so much heart and soul and genuine emotion. I feel the human pull and pressure of "not letting it slip", not letting our strength and what we project on the outside falter, but... at the end of the day we are only human. I love the inspiration in this and the incredibly vivid imagery, yet the reality that we face hardship and anguish and grief continuously. It's amazing how we stand at all, isn't it? It's an incredible thing to behold. And I love your voice in it. Unyielding, refusing to be invisible, to be shaken, to be brought under. All the love to you!

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