Various and Sundry Poetry

For you are wild and have earned your freedom

for Jen Gray

The water has made a war of this beach.
I walk, after the storm, past a graveyard of shells,
a skeleton of a horseshoe crab that lost the battle
even before the first cloud gathered off-shore. The sand
is a scatter of color - pale yellows, half-pinks, a rake a rust,
a blue plastic boat, a small white shovel abandoned when
a frantic mother called the kids to safety. You would tell me
this is the time to dance, among this ruin and beauty, this
funny cast of characters upended and cast off and orphaned.
You would tell me I am most welcome here, my brokenness
a friend to all who are wounded. You would show me
the glinty fragment of joy winking from my shoulder blades.
You would hold your hand out to the roiling waves and say,
"These are your teachers," and then point to me
and say, "And you are theirs."
The water has made a war of this beach but I am
here anyway, just like you showed me, here
in my messy little glory.
For I am wild and have earned my freedom.
For I am free and have earned my wildness.