A Plea to the Ocean

For my daughter Becky

On the beach
under the shadow of the hour of leaving
I dabbed the eyelash from your tear-stained face,
examined it on my finger tip.

“Its a wish”, you said.
So I wished
that the prayers
I’d attached
to the rocks
we’d thrown in the sea
would be washed by the waters
to whatever corner of this world
you visit.

And find their way
by osmosis
into the unsuspecting bodies
of friends and future lovers
strangers too
destined to enter
your life
at fated moments
to keep you healthy
safe
and shining
in a world that needs your light.

The greatest blessings of my life
include the first moment
you opened your eyes
cradled in my arms,
and that love,
painful, profound, unceasing,
which moves me so
to protect you,
not because you’re weak
but because you are so strong, 
wise beyond years
a precious force of life.

My tears are for all the moments we have missed
and the ache of leaving you again.
The tears are for me
the beating in my chest, for you.

“If I were to have a little girl
I’d want her to be just like you”
says the man
on the film
on the plane
that takes me away again.

I do,
and you are.
Just like you
is more than I ever dreamed
could touch my life, and
bless this world.


This poem, and 15 others, are contained in a chapbook, Songs of Uprising, available in the store.