I remember one November
(I was in my early twenties, and
My father was still alive)
I met my parents out on the beach
At a Holiday Inn
For Thanksgiving Dinner

It was very cold:
Twelve degrees Fahrenheit
In Florida, standing next to
The Gulf of Mexico

12 degrees, sans “windchill”, mind you
Although the wind was blowing occasionally

I arrived about an hour early;
Enjoying having miles of coastline
Completely to myself,
As no one in their right mind
Would be out on the beach on
A day that cold

I had left my “right mind” at home

And I remember
Looking out at the shoals,
Or “The Sandbar” as we called it

Wondering how, on a day so freezing,
Anything could look so tropical

But also struggling to understand
Why I had no girlfriend

Why “everyone” seemed to be spending
Thanksgiving Day with families they had forged
As well as ones they had been born into –
Except me

But I loved that day
I loved how cold I felt
(It was painfully cold)

And I guess we begin
To truly understand
What it is to be thankful

When we’re even grateful

For the pain

Tagged: Tags

6 Thoughts to “Shoals

      1. Thank you Owen, Your work means a lot to me, your inquiry even more.
        I am trying to put pain behind me and to really get back to happy painting. For the moment I’m leaving waves and the ocean behind although the pieces I painted. all of which were ocean scenes, to your poems were well received as was your poetry at the reading. Hopefully at some time i’ll go back and rework “Equilibrium” (image of a person standing on a sand bar in the ocean) which i painted to your poem “Integrity” and then be willing to post them together.But, for Just now i’m choosing less emotionally charged subjects and trying to paint and sketch without any expectation.
        thanks for asking,

Leave a Reply