escapril day 12: submerged in water
In youth you live a pond life,
Submerged up to your ankles,
Orange fish nibbling at your toes,
Pebbles clear as day just a few inches below
The surface. You pick one up –
A perfectly round pebble.
You smile, and that’s enough.
Soon you’ll start living a lake life,
The water less clear, a deeper blue,
You can swim now, into the open,
A dance with the unknown.
You’ll wade through ambiguity
Never knowing if you’re about to tread
On something that could stab you.
Here, you can still see an end,
Maybe the bottom if you could dive
Down deep enough.
There’s so much more to explore here,
You’ll see how long you can hold your breath
Under water, your hair floating aimlessly
Around your face.
You burst back through the surface,
You laugh, and that’s enough.
But one day, amidst it all, you’ll resurface
And find yourself in an ocean.
Now you live an ocean life,
The end is everywhere and nowhere –
Pick a direction, any direction
And start heading there.
Neck deep and flailing feet,
Something will tangle around your toes
And the ocean is deep, deep, deep.
With no path carved out ahead of you,
You swim aimlessly through the vast sea,
But try not to dip under for too long –
A deep enough breath out and you’ll
Sink, sink, sink. Suffocated in pressure
You were never meant to withstand,
Your lungs will panic and scream.
You may not feel pain if you fall and scrape your knee
Here, but as the water wraps around you,
You’ll learn a pain much worse.
Your insignificance may astound you,
You’re just an ant inside a wave,
You might hear everywhere calling your name,
But it could take a billion lifetimes or more
To explore – you don’t have to, be brave.
The sea has secrets you’ll never learn,
But you’ll find some treasures of your own –
A pearl, a reef, a message in a bottle.
You keep traversing the salty blue,
And there it is! Land!
An island found only by you.
You won’t have explored the ocean’s entirety,
But you found a place to call your own,
You lie back on the sand, sigh quietly,
And hope that it’s enough.