Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sleeping Seaside

Sleeping Seaside

The sea can give only so much. It shrugs
tides inland as far as possible. Then its
conscience, the moon, urges caution. What's
left behind on strands looks broken or worn.
Anyway it's exiled from origin and function:
a cracked shell, a driftwood plank.
A receding tide's a kind of regret.

Hearing the sound of surf all night erodes
the will's high bank. That's when a tide
of sleep advances. That's when you wade
in the water, child, and shrug off the day.

Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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