Follow the Shore

This poem appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Lyric Magazine and received that publication’s Leslie Mellichamp Prize.

Follow the shore as it rises alee,
Bereft of the wind and deprived of the sea.
Follow it northward, past stone and past tide,
And keep to the coast ‘til the current has died.
See where the cliff falls away from the land,
As sharp as a blade, upon cushions of sand.
Go where the grassy hill climbs long and slow
And follow the trail that is worn by my woe.
There at the top, where the steep meets the sky,
Walk up to the cottage where my love abides.
Knock on her door and then beg for her leave
To carry my love straightaway back to me.
If she refuses, come back all the same,
Through wind and through water, with no one to blame.
Live on I will, though bereft of her gaze,
Deprived of her voice and her touch, still I may
Listen to all of your tales of the shore
And the cliffs and the sea and the hills and the door.

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