This poem is one of the few exceptions to my aversion to long poems. I sincerely love this poem and have read it dozens of times, liking it more each time.  (I also enjoy Patricia's use of rhyme in her work). - poetheart 02/09/02

I walk and I'm flooded
With thoughts of the trials and tribulations
That have made up my life
As daughter, as woman,
As mother, as wife.

I have spent so much time indebted to the cause
Yet I cannot hear laughter or grateful applause
For the constant struggle to keep family afloat
Has given me worry that there's a leak in my boat.

How can I manage to stay on course?
I'm feeling adrift and full of remorse
For all the time bobbing and pitching out in the surf
Has left me uneasy and queasy
Desperately longing for stable turf.

How can one sail without wind or be free?
How can one live without knowing
"What is me?"
How can one taste the salt in the air
When life seems full of doubt and despair?

I must hoist up the sails and shift with the gales
This ship must not go down
No, it just cannot.
I need to brave though this
It's all that I've got.

Alone at sea
In spite of my surrounding crew
My mates and the Captain fight
In jeopardy with everything I do
And everything I avoid
Will we all recover if new strategies are employed?

Lost at sea and seeking a new way to gather steam
Must I set my compass to a course of new extreme?
How can I predict the outcome of this stormy drama?
Will I be comforted by the darkness or ever feel any calmer?

Imagining all the stars
Shall cast above some light
To end this awfully dreary chill
I'm feeling all the night.

Imagining peace and serenity and stillness all around
Then a seagull in the distance and it's lonely crying sound
Awake me from this nightmare that continues through the day
Can I find a harbor?
And come ashore- I pray.

Why am I not happy with the status quo?
Why is the tide holding me with its ebb and flow?
Why do I feel like jumping ship and swimming to the beach?
Why am I longing for things outside my reach?

The anchor is so heavy
That holds me in this space
Only time and tide will move me
From this feeling of disgrace.

When will I be cast away from all the things I fear?
When will all the trouble begin to disappear?
When will all the clouds lift and clear the skies above?
When will I know just who I am and who it is I love?

by Patricia Lynn

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