He is obviously drowning.
I bolt from the beach and splash through the surf,
Determined to save him.
He thrashes against the waves.
Now, I see him…now, I don’t.
I paddle, frantic.
As I near him,
He suddenly seems to become buoyant.
But instead of heading back to the safety of the shore,
He strikes out toward the horizon.
I watch, bewildered.
He soon begins to sink again.
Gasping and grabbing at the sky.
Panicked, I paddle.
I reach him.
I reach for him.
He bobs to the surface,
Then kicks, hard, propelling himself,
Out to sea.
Again, he succumbs to the surf.
Again, I attempt a rescue.
Again, he purposefully floats further away,
Until he’s nearly out of sight.
If I follow, I won’t have the strength
To get myself back to shore.
Before turning toward the coast,
I give him one more glance.
As he’s sucked beneath the surface.
Watching him disappear into the deep, I realize,
He never wanted to be saved.
I really love how this poem builds, and I love sitting with the powerful revelation and turning point:
“If I follow, I won’t have the strength
To get myself back to shore.”
Thank you so much for reading. I look forward to doing the same.
Great tension in this story. I guess all we can do is try, right?
Very good. It also reminds me, metaphorically speaking, of having a relationship with an addict. Very similar.
Ding. Ding. Ding…and you are the winner. 100% metaphorical about releasing my ex-husband and his substance abuse issues.
Haunting, especially the ending.
Wow. The end. Just wow.