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To A Woman I Never Met
by Carole Buggé

I don't even know your name
I know very few things about you,
through friends of friends, as so often happens

I know you died too young,
your cells multiplying faster than they should,
Nature's mechanism run rampant in your body
Too young, but with courage and grace

One regret only remained in your heart, so they said,
one unfulfilled dream:
to have a cabin by the sea
But through fear or timidity, or just procrastination,
you never got your beach house

I think of you, greeting the day in your bare feet,
the weathered blue door of your cottage thrown open to the sea,
as seagulls squawk, circling the turquoise sky above you

You sip your coffee while walking along the tide line
soft white sand between your toes
looking to see what the waves have cast up on your shore
as you breathe in the clean smell of salt air
At night the cry of gulls and the pounding of surf will lull you to sleep

I heard of your regret third hand
but it touched me, as deathbed stories often do
and I think of you with gratitude for the message you left,
not knowing that someone you never met would hear in your words
the wisdom they contained

Well, I got my cabin in the woods
and you come to mind when I take my coffee out to the porch,
throwing open my door to the forest beyond,
the cry of wild geese harsh in the slate blue sky above me
I walk the path between tree line and road,
black dirt soft beneath my feet
to see what mushrooms have sprouted since last night’s rain
as I inhale the deep, musty aroma of mulch and dead leaves
At night crickets and the patter of raindrops lull me to sleep
and I dream of a woman I never met
in her cabin by the shining sea


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