Under a cloud-shrouded winter moon,
I wonder who I am
And why my life has turned to grief?
Like winter Goldfinches,
Their muted plumes the same,
Am I a male version of a woman,
Or more worrisome,
A female version of a man?
The perils of self-incising thought
Standing nude against the surf,
Desolate and wind-swept.

Full of love and hope,
I strive to care for others before myself.
Yet tonight my heart and soul,
Like ocean waves,
Break upon the beach
With the acceptance that
The one I love no longer
Returns her love to me.

I realize who and where I am.
The daughter of earth and water,
A physically strong woman betrayed,
Treading water in the ocean cold.
I’m neither courageous nor afraid.
As I struggle against life’s seaward tides,
Gelid waves numb me to the bone.
My heart, paralyzed within,
Slips into arrhythmia.

Written after watching winter Goldfinches feeding on the Eastern Shore of Virginia
and relating them to past experiences.





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