Slow Dance by the Ocean by Linda Gregg
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM
You wander, in agony, in torment, with woe as a companion for days and days. You wonder if it will always be like this. Some nights it feels like the answer will always be yes.
And then you wake up some days and things are better, surprisingly. The way you put on a well-worn sweater and find that it still fits, how nice. Or when you open the fridge and find a bar of chocolate still there, just in case of emergencies. Small mercies.
Because I only ever have words to enfold you instead of my arms, please know I am saying this from the deep recesses of myself: you are loved, ever so loved, and not alone.
Slow Dance by the Ocean
The days are hot and moist now. The doves say
true, true, true and fly lovely all the time
from and to the tree outside my window,
not quieted by the weather as the cats are.
The dogs bark only when there is a stranger.
The world moves, my Lord, and I stay still,
yielding as it passes through. I go down
the path to a bay that holds the ocean quiet,
a grassy place with oleander and broom.
When evening comes, things are clear delicately
until all is dark except the water, which is silver.
The sea takes me at night while I sleep.
During the day, memory is the pull of its huge
center. I have my dress to wash and lamps to clean
in the coming and going of time. I dance as slowly
as possible in the fields of barley and weeds.
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This poem appeared in The Sacraments of Desire by Linda Gregg, published by Graywolf Press, 1995. Shared here with profound gratitude.
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