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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mom's Birthday

Call me cheap, but I was running seriously low on funds for my mom's birthday this year.  So I wrote her a poem instead of buying her a present.  I'm glad, actually, because I've been trying to write a poem for her for some time now and for some unreasonable reason it just hasn't happened.  Until the day before her birthday.  The only background needed for this poem is the fact that since before I was born, my family has visited the beaches of the Outer Banks, NC.  It was where I got my first sunburn, ate my first picnic, screamed my first yelp of true joy, and first answered the question "Where's Waldo" in those awesome picture books from the 1990's.  In short, the Outer Banks is where our family formed much of our current identity, which happens to include a passionate, undying, poetic, intrinsic, helpless, emotional, soul-deep, indescribable love for the ocean.
Oh, and there are these wild ponies that live on the far islands.  These elusive creatures are mysterious and somewhat dangerous.  I've never seen one.

I remember trips to stand on sand dunes
  long drives out to the island's outer rim-
  dustily down the one deserted highway-
  straining sun-scorched eyes in hopes
  of (rarely) catching (just perhaps) a glimpse
  of those wild sea-born stallions through the mist.

The nobility of anarchy seized something
  in your soul- enchanted you with visions
  of rampant, risky glory- untamed, unrestrained
  the regal symbol of a reckless beauty-

And oh, I know when I am restless
    stomping in the dirt
    neighing at the gate
    chomping at the bit (so you say)
We both know
  That you and I have never bit
  nor bridle held
  nor tolerated puny ends the world
  calls limits.
We have always run on shoeless hooves
 grinding all the gravel through our callouses
 melting into mild meadows with all our hearts.

And just as I never could have
  swum to shore without you-
  the strength of your struggle-
  at my side;
  My freedom is not true without your trust.
Even wild horses live in odd complexities
  of natural necessity
  and limitless love.

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