I Won’t Let You Drown
Broken pieces of you
float on a blue mirror sea,
shards of light and color
pierce the doldrums of your heart;
the best parts of you drifting.
I want to net and steal
you from drowning,
throw you a line,
lift you up and let you drip dry
in the sun over the edge of the deck,
drape you like slack rope on a boom.
I want to hoist you high,
set loose your compass
luff you in the wind
that might breach your sharp edges.
and soften your scars until smooth as beach glass.
I want to collect your flotsam and jetsam
and pack them away in the cabin
where you can open them one box at a time
instead of watching the mess of it
waste on waves out of reach, lost.
Let me take the con, paint the blue band
on the hull. Let me fly the blue flag on the mast,
and look for the albatross that bears your name,
I will point it out if it flies too far above your horizon,
like calling “Land, Ho!” at dawn
after a windless water night.
I want to take the tiller, turn the rudder,
steer you back toward yourself,
or at least back toward dry land,
where I can tie your mooring line,
cleat to pilon, where you can soak in sorrow
for a while, turn transom to your unimagined future,
but not drown, never drown,
even if you feel like you might
until you can finally see a buoy of light.
Julene Waffle is a NYS public school teacher, a writer, a business owner, a wife, a mother of three boys, two dogs, and three cats, and more fish than she can count. She loves nature and feels at home among the trees. She earned degrees from Hartwick College and Binghamton University. Her work has appeared in several journals such as La Presa, The English Journal; River, Blood, Corn Literary Journal; The Nonconformist, the anthologies of Civilization in Crisis, Seeing Things, and American Writers Review, and a chapbook entitled So I Will Remember.
The Ekphrastic Review
Join us on Facebook: