Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday Poetry - 5 Minutes At the End of the Pier

5 Minutes At the End of The Pier
I didn’t have much time to spare,
Maybe thirty minutes was all,
So I decided to drive to the beach
And park my car
And walk to the end of the pier
And sit.
As I neared the ocean,
The breeze began to pick up speed.
My hair blew into my eyes,
And my linen shirt caught the wind
Like a sail,
Like a flag.
Everyone else out at the beach
Were wearing sweaters or jackets,
But I just had a linen shirt and jeans.
I must have looked silly in the chill air:
My hair in my face, my shirt flapping.
Most of the people there were fishing:
Standing mutely, their hands in their pockets,
A pole dangling off the side of the pier.
Some talked in hasty Spanish about this or that;
Most were quiet.
If they looked at me, I didn't notice.
As I stepped on the wooden slats,
The wind blowing my hair in my face,
My shirt flapping,
All I saw was the sea:
An empire of blue and green emptiness
The possibilities beyond
The unending line of the horizon
The light reflecting off the water
The faintest outline of the islands
My wind-blown hair partially obstructing my view.
I walked to the end of the pier,
The sound of my footsteps inaudible over the sound
Of the sea
And the wind,
And sat on the bench.
It had taken longer than I thought to walk there;
I supposed I had five minutes,
Just five.
So for five minutes I sat on the bench
At the end of the pier
And I looked out at the unending blue
And I felt the breeze on my face and my hair
And I breathed
And I was suddenly conscious of my breathing.
I was breathing.
When was the last time I had breathed?
I couldn’t remember.
I found that strange.
I looked out at the unending blue and I breathed
I breathed, really breathed, for five minutes
For five minutes at the end of the pier.
And as I sat
And as I breathed
I thought:
I thought about people who had never seen the ocean
I thought about people who would never see the ocean
I thought about people who dreamed of the ocean
That they would never see.
And I looked out on that ocean
And I was thankful;
Thankful I had the ocean
Thankful I lived in California
And thankful that for five minutes
A whole five minutes
I could breathe
As I sat at the end of the pier

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