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[box]In 2002, my poem, Tidal Movements was awarded 2nd Place in the Poetry Contest held be the American Society on Aging. S. Goldberg (2009) American Society on Aging/national Council Poetry/Photography Contest, 2nd place July[/box]




The radiant Gulf sun rises
from behind ancient mangroves
and egrets snatch prey with lightning beaks
as I push the canoe into brown waters.

A back country trip to resurrect a time,
when muscles readily worked,
becomes a reflection of age.
A trip, so effortlessly designed,
now painfully unfolds.

Fighting the incoming tide
The canoe moves imperceptibly.
While arms swell and muscles tire,
porpoises slide by, impervious to the struggle.

Later, on a shifting sand bar
I watch the tidal movement take fish and delusions
deep into the welcoming Gulf,
leaving me with a grudging acceptance
of who I have become.

Mud flats once holding bragging fish
now become a clinging ooze,
locking weary feet that can go no deeper,
releasing only when shoreward bound.

At slack tide I sit on broken shells
drinking French-pressed Starbucks.
A rod at my side with flies too frayed to fish.
I look into the reflective waters,
still calm, still timeless.

Days later, returning with the incoming tide,
the canoe glides on calm waters,
towards a protected shore.
Behind the mangroves structures reappear
and I start planning the next trip.

copyright 2002 Stan Goldberg,

This article can be reproduced and distributed without charge for any non-commercial project if the source is provided.

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About The Author

I am an author of eight books in four languages. LESSONS FOR THE LIVING: STORIES OF FORGIVENESS, GRATITUDE AND COURAGE AT THE END OF LIFE is my memoir of being a bedside hospice volunteer for six years while battling prostate cancer. My next book, LEANING INTO SHARP POINTS: PRACTICAL GUIDANCE AND NURTURING SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS will be published in March, 2012 by New World Library and focus on caregiving for loved ones who have a progressive or terminal illness.