Husband-Master never waking,
I started his day
and quietly shut the door.
I lived for
obeying, my body ever swaying
in fear, always
sensing if he wanted more;
More of this or
that, as if there was a constant lack
where we dwelled
within our shack beside the swelling sea.
I lived tiptoeing,
shaking, satisfaction never taking,
And accepted that
this fear was all my life would be.
stuttering, stumbling and muttering—
Master was used to
this and also greatly amused,
tiptoed fumble of the beaten one he’d humbled,
following-of-one he thought happily abused.
Moving was never
soothing, with Master always accusing
and yanking my
body along by my small wrist,
when I misheard a
word, said words he thought absurd,
stuttered because I didn’t get the gist.
Tired of always
quaking, sick and tired of the shaking,
only acting and
reacting to Master’s raging will,
one day I felt as
if, one-by-one, all bonds had come undone;
and then felt
myself go very stiff—and very, very still.
When like a beast
my Master kept the daily nap he always slept,
sobbing, running wild, wailing like a cornered child.
In prayer for a
freedom I couldn’t conceive, I found myself upon my knees,
searching—frantic, desperate, and by hope beguiled.
The sea was
watching as I knelt, lapping at me as I felt
myself completely in its great mystery.
Instead I looked
ahead, and my heart escaped from dread,
For I fell in love
then with the sea whose freedom beckoned me.
unlike land, drew me onto warm wet sand,
and for a time I
felt and sensed a hand protecting me:
so massive, aggressive, yet so passive,
reaching, reaching, and yet soothing all of me.
Like a lover
laughing loud, the waves reached up toward cloud
where moon and
stars peered down and seemed about to shout;
but no covenant
was made while on the sand I stared and stayed
and wondered what
this separate and awesome beauty was about.
Weeping, I turned
from sea to land to see where I might stand.
Master glared and
beckoned from his window to come home,
there to do his
will in pain, there to shake and quake again
in a place where I
was daily slain, forbidden to become.
I couldn’t move
toward that house to live quiet as a mouse,
and fell kneeling,
crying, begging God there in the sand,
at the place where
I could see the sea that had cornered me
between the terror
of the Deep and the bondage of the Land.
I stood stiffened
and stock still, could no longer move at will,
Unable to move
homeward to my overlord on land!
Not as a wife,
enduring strife, bonded to my old life
under the hard
hand of a land-bound, angry man.
Thanks to a wish
upon a star that lay silent, fair, and far,
moving at his will, his raging will no more!
When I knelt my
wish came true to depart the life I knew
and there stay a
statue who knelt still on ocean’s shore.
He stared out the
window, and I heard his beastly bellow,
for his wife as he stomped upon the floor.
And I, frozen in
relief, never doubting my belief,
Watched him whom
I’d serve as slavish wife no more.
He walked outside,
pondered, and toward me, angry, wandered
to the shore where
I knelt, coldly silent, unable to atone;
my hands were
reaching from me to that soothing, sounding sea,
in joyful hope,
not grief, that I was now solid, with no bone.
He ran to me, and,
when his fist tried to smash down on my wrist,
he met rigid
resistance, and broke his hand on
he scrambled and
he fell; I could hear his panicked yell,
as he fled back to
his horrid hut with a pain-filled moan.
Here I kneel in
relief, happy now in my belief
that my joy shall
be locked in forever more;
Kneeling, I am
reaching for the sea that I’m beseeching,
Always hopeful in
my gazing at the shining ocean shore.
Janet C. Ro, firstname.lastname@example.org, of Evanston, IL,
wrote the BP #81 poem, “The Statue” (+ the BP #76 poems, “Ghost Lover” &
“My Walk to Emberly Park”; BP #73’s editor’s favorite, “The Witch and
the Rock; the poem, “Farewell, My Isobel” for BP #68; “Monstrous” and “The
Scientist,” for BP #67; “Rose and Gold” for BP #65, as well as the “Angelic and
Animated Rhyme Sets”; Alien Rhymes
for BP #64, and was featured poet
in BP #63 with her Thorough Rhymes).
She writes: “Thrashing through
armies of roses and thorn, I’m rushing to save my dear pet unicorn. My
bones are now breaking and my poor skin does bleed. But rescued by every new
word that you read: janetcro.blogspot.com.”