Caught in the Undertow
Direction undecided, a leaf floats
on a narrow stream that trickles
over loose stone, approaches a side channel
in the bedrock, the product of years
of heavy rain. Water must flow, underground
when presented with solid rock. I watch
the leaf emerge to rejoin the stream.
There’s a hole in my heart. Hidden from
prying eyes, it provides a shortcut, one taken
at high risk. By a broad stroke of luck,
that risk paid off for most of a lifetime.
But blood must flow. If it carried a leaf
to the brain, what thoughts might it bring?
I know those thoughts, as I know that leaf.
I’ve taken shortcuts, felt drawn by currents
beyond my control. Directions I’ve taken,
decisions I’ve made, have brought changes
I should have had the foresight to predict.
Drawn this way by my heart, I’m still drawn
that way by thoughts that have always flowed
beneath the surface, waiting to emerge.
With this poem, I tried to connect three thoughts: a rock formation in a stream that runs beside a trail I frequently walk, my recently discovered PFO (“hole in my heart”), and the fact that not seeing my granddaughters (6 months old & 2 ½ years old) is a consequence of my move to MO 9 years ago.
Shared with dVerse – Open Link Night 293.