Cresting Waves and White Foam

when you were young did you
ride on cresting waves
taking journeys atop the breakers?
power and majesty
flowing underneath your feet
did you stand up or did you bow
before the foam that swallows the weakness
of those who’ve fallen away
in the path of something higher
than they ever dreamed to fly or ride
with only a tiny link
to keep them hovering so proximal to peril?

I’m standing to my hips in cold
feeling the tug of something old and strong
dragging me to submerge
my thoughts in a swirl of tumbled chaos
but I don’t need to feel that way
I can stand and watch and I can walk away
any moment that I want release
I don’t think I’ll climb the mountain waves
I’ll stay a paddler in the shallows
never getting too deep
and never plunging over my head

incoming waves ride on top of the ebb
with fingers of foam surfing to the shore
I’ve watched them for hours
to see the way it’s done
but I have no insight into staying afloat
without a board or a raft or lifeguard
holding on
my place is in the shallows
watching daredevil riders
on cresting waves and white foam


© Frank Prem, 2000

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