THE IMPARTIAL SEA
Smoke puffed from the chimney of the house above the sea,
that was perched upon a sandy cliff and teetered precariously.
A sharp-enough noise, thunder-clap or piercing whistle,
or perhaps a silent fervent prayer or wanton careless wish’ll
send it sliding down the rain-soaked sand to a pounding surf,
the cottage that the farmer once built well back up on the turf.
Years ago he’d had the notion of a home that faced the ocean,
but he never knew nor counted on the power of the wave –
the habits of the ceaseless tides, his inability to stave
off the inevitable erosion that would in time destroy his home.
Yet still he loved the salty air, the sand pipers that drilled the foam,
so he made his choice to stay there, live out his days on fortune’s back.
He placed his chair by the warming fire, hoping the storm would slack,
and proposed a toast to his dreams with a drink as a lightning bolt ripped the sky
He felt the bite of chilly wind and heard glass break and whispered, “Why?”
Why had he tried to make dreams come true, then took another sip.
He saw the set of porcelain cups his long-dead wife collected tip
and crash to the floor with the shelf on which they had rested all these years.
He remembered how she’d lovingly dust the six of them every day, felt tears
slip down his weathered cheeks and recalled the terrible day
she died, his life was split apart and lonely grief had come to stay.
Soon the impartial wind and waves made the final destructive blow,
sending the farmer and the home he’d loved down to the shore far below.
The relentless sea holds no memories of the life it had whittled away,
not even a pit or scar on the land is left, no trace to mark the day
when a dreamer’s life had come to an end and been swallowed by the sea;
not a soul to remember the life he had wished for and his home that had ceased to be.
Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful Dad’s out there. I wish all of you, my Gentle Readers, and fathers everywhere, the abundance of enough. . .