(Revised Feb. 9, 2011. Original is here.)
(For Jean, “surfing instructor” and friend)
Though mountaintop is solid earth,
it is to me like the sea
where ocean vastness begins
to meet the up-slope to the sand,
the birthing place of waves
ramping up unreined, like me.
But a wave always, always breaks
and after the crest must come
the trough; the wave is so defined.
The pattern repeats, so I am not taken
by surprise when trailing on mountaintop’s heels
comes Post-Mount-Carmel Nosedive,
by now so familiar I recognize
and expect its coming.
So I learn to surf, to ride the wave.
Instructor teaches when to plant feet
soon enough and stand steady–
balanced and controlled stance
on incoming wave.
The wave must break, but I
do not. I ride in to rest
(until the next