Tsunami

One moment
Safe on the shore,
Living, laughing, loving –
Next moment
Engulfed

Old certainties
Swept away
Familiar landmarks
Disappearing beneath
This relentless tsunami

Salty water streams
Over
Under
Around
Out of me
Threatening to choke with
Unstoppable tears

Gone,
Gone is
The familiar voice
The familiar face

Cold,
Cold as the ocean is
The hand which once
Held mine
Kept me safe
Guided
Guarded
Restrained
Encouraged

And so the
Tsunami
Sweeps me up and I’m
Powerless to
Resist

Bruised and battered
Sad and shattered
I struggle to stay afloat

Time passes
In a daze,
A haze of
Effort to
Keep on breathing,
Go through the motions of living

No landmarks to guide
Nowhere to hide
Vast and formless is this ocean of grief

Time passes
Shock lessens
Breathing settles
Swimming strengthens.
Though I can choose which
Direction to go
Decisions seem pointless as
No land in view

And yet…
And yet…
Life remembered
Beckons me into a
Future as yet
Unknown
Sets my feet on
Solid ground

Again the tsunami strikes,
Coming from nowhere,
Knocking me down when I
Thought I could stand – ’til
Slowly, so slowly
The flood-waters ebb.
Once again I can rest
Firm on the land.

Absence filled with the
Memory of presence,
Years of sharing
Recalled through the tears
Bringing back sight and sound,
Making real touch now gone –
Presence in absence brings
Peace

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