Mistaken For a Flotation Device

Mistaken For a Floatation Device

I could barely lift the big book
Its red, glaring spaces,
Textual confessions, a life
Burrowed for, borrowed from

I sit in my green gingham dress
Absorbing ocean waves through
The algal eyes of a kinswoman,
Middle-age addled & fading

Wondering what is meant by
The urge to build a craft
That can glide through sand dunes
When my oars have dissipated long ago

My own penmanship haunts me
When I stumble upon a frightening
     storm hidden in my rubble
All I never meant to leave me
Screams from a younger abyss

The big book sits on my chest
Long after being cast aside
& I have always been overboard
In my own way, grasping onto
Anything appearing stable

I match the tablecloth
Of my farewell dinner
Where only the adoring attend,
& they are stunned by my silence

My washed out appearance,
My new limp, my seaweed bound nerves,
My refusal to decipher my own
My surrender, finally,
     to the all encompassing sea

(May 18, 2022)

Published by Jennifer Patino


16 thoughts on “Mistaken For a Flotation Device

  1. Tremendous imagery all through this… That “younger abyss” struck me hard too, and I think all of us resonate with “always been overboard in my own way”!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just happened to read this again, and found that comments are open. Did you do this later? This is such a deep, sublime and beautiful poem! It has so many episodes from your life, and how it progresses from one to the other! And you approach them with such originality and creativity! I also love the great ending! Wonderful writing Jennifer!

    Liked by 1 person

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