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Moving Meditation with High Tide
by Mary Jo Balistreri

When I concede to the ocean and accept
the small space left to walk, I take off my shoes
and go barefoot. The surf rolls over my feet
like a playful retriever, rushes at my legs and licks
me with salty affection. I splash along, skirt clumps
of seaweed, briny red smell, mixed with coconut
oil and a rainbow of umbrellas.

I walk. I dream in shapes of sand and air
like the children making castles. Imagination climbs
a bluebell sky, a parasail drifts among clouds,
a pelican rides the warm thermals.

Close to shore, dolphins rise and dive. Walkers point
out location, dreamers stop building and those in the surf
stand still. In the perfect grace of curved bodies,
in the radiance of the sunlit sea, their leaps
are revelation.

Rounding the bend at Clam Pass, a great white egret
perches, huge in the tree, and opposite him, a heron.
Their croaky, ancient voices seem to thank me for coming,
proper preachers after a good sermon. I turn around
to go back the way I came, an ending, a beginning.

The world pours itself into me, fills me to the brim
with all the blue in the sky, swoops me up like the kites
that circle and twirl above. All this before noon,
the rest of the day still, before me.


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