by Martina Reisz Newberry
Sitting on the sand at Morro Bay,
I had a revelation
or a vision
or an hallucination
I felt what a backbone could conceive.
An otter out on some rocks signaled that
I could live without hesitation, that hesitation
could be overcome
like a stammer
or an old, tired phobia.
All that day, I sat
while wind and warmth
funnelled into me.
I focused on outcroppings of rocks
and the mirage of membranes
I was my only companion that day
and, while the backbone
and the sense of overcoming
did not last, the warmth did.
I honor that.
Something walking behind…
The click-clack of heels with
attached taps, like I used to
beg my mother for.
The coolest of the cool kids
had those taps on their heels.
They were a cadence on
the tile floors of out high school,
spelling out what cool was,
what I was not. An unnecessary
expense for my family–
too dear for too little.
When I graduated, with all
my disappointing marks blazing,
I saw those taps as childish.
Graduation meant I could say,
I never had them.
I thought they were stupid.
All afternoon, the wind pulled at the telephone wire.
They didn’t resist–just waited
for another cold gust–like sleepers on fire
knowing that the next driven dream was fated.
Generally, I deplore winter, spend it cheerless,
begging the universe for an early unending spring;
promising all gods that I will face winter fearless,
strong and brave, not small and shivering.
But this day there seemed a whisper of some
thing important moving through those wires,
I can only tag it as sanity, as a hard-won
kind of restoration. A cold blessing through sleeping fires…
Bless this wind, I guess. Bless what can be breathed.
Bless my impatience and what dreams can be conceived.