top of page
  • write4hire

This Delicate Balance












My Own Private Sea Wall


I didn’t cry after my father died.

Same thing as I sat with my mother,

so small in that king-sized bed, hands

clasped in the silence her children knew


so well. I’m not sure what that says about me

since I cry at sappy movies and I wept when

each of our dogs died, especially Plumpy,

who wasn’t even my favorite, though I should


say here that each time I’ve left a theater teary-

eyed or walked away after burying a sweet dog

on the rise in the woods, my tears soon dried

and I went about the daily sun and moon of being


a dad, all of it seeming to demand a sea wall

composure against an ocean of hurt, no boyish

bawling allowed except, however absurd

this may sound, at supposedly joyful ceremonies


like my kids’ graduations where without warning

torrents of inarticulate sorrow have seven times

splashed up against this rocky embodied soul,

wave after choking wave, my breathless gasps


reminding me if the dike ever breaks, I’d be swept

away, tumbling head over heels into a roiling

whirlpool of my worst fears come true, a world

of inconsolable wailing without amen.


—SL, Port Royal, SC, March 2023


178 views17 comments

Recent Posts

See All

17 comentarios


margarita meyendorff
margarita meyendorff
06 abr 2023

LOVED this poem, Steve. You articulated beautifully what I feel as well.

Me gusta
write4hire
06 abr 2023
Contestando a

Thank you so very much, Mourka.

Me gusta

Paul Griffin
Paul Griffin
01 abr 2023

Beautiful.

Me gusta
write4hire
01 abr 2023
Contestando a

Thank you, Paul. So appreciated!

Me gusta

skiwaves
31 mar 2023

What an emotion to convey with words!

We send our heartfelt thanks for your friendship.

Me gusta
write4hire
01 abr 2023
Contestando a

Thank you so much for this kind affirmation, Michael! We, too, are ever grateful for our friendship with you and Denise.

Me gusta

Myron Adams
Myron Adams
31 mar 2023

Lucky, that we cry.

Me gusta

wordsmith
31 mar 2023

Wow!! This one hit hard!

Me gusta
write4hire
01 abr 2023
Contestando a

Thank you, my good friend!

Me gusta
website header.jpg
bottom of page