Tidal Movements

Stan Goldberg, PhD
In 2002, my poem, Tidal Movements, was awarded 2nd Place in the Poetry Contest held by the American Society on Aging. S. Goldberg (2009) American Society on Aging/National Council Poetry/Photography Contest, 2nd place July

The radiant Gulf sun rises
from behind ancient mangroves
and egrets snatch prey with lightning beaks
as I push the canoe into brown waters.

A backcountry trip to resurrect a time,
when muscles readily worked,
becomes a reflection of age.
A trip so effortlessly designed,
now painfully unfolds.

Fighting the incoming tide
The canoe moves imperceptibly.
While arms swell and muscles tire,
porpoises slide by, impervious to the struggle.

Later, on a shifting sandbar
I watch the tidal movement take fish and delusions
deep into the welcoming Gulf,
leaving me with a grudging acceptance
of who I have become.

Mudflats once holding bragging fish
now become a clinging ooze,
locking weary feet that can go no deeper,
releasing only when shoreward bound.

At slack tide, I sit on broken shells
drinking French-pressed Starbucks.
A rod at my side with flies too frayed to fish.
I look into the reflective waters,
still calm, still timeless.

Days later, returning with the incoming tide,
the canoe glides on calm waters,
towards a protected shore.
Behind the mangroves, structures reappear
and I started planning the next trip.

copyright 2002 Stan Goldberg, stangoldbergwriter.com

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