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Sunday
Dec142014

Breathing Under Water - by Carol Bieleck

I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you;
not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house
by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbours.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance, 
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always the fence of sand our barrier,
always, the sand between.

And then one day,
- and still I don't know how it happened -
the sea came.
Without warning.

Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine,
less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming. 
Slow, but fowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
A while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew then, there was nether flight, nor death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop being neighbours
and you give your house for a coral castle,
and you learn to breathe underwater. 

 

See also this beautiful short video based on this poem.