POET’s CORNER: At the World’s Ledge

I submitted this poem to the Poetry Foundation, but sadly it was not accepted. I would gladly accept any critiques.

“A World’s Ledge”

Breaking fast against the shore,
I sat astride my broken boat.
Looking out from stern to fore,
I saw her smile and rippling coat.

Jagged edges backed her dawn,
As sun and moon hung low in tow.
No, nothing felt one bit wrong,
For blossoms bloom so very slow.

We furled the sails, patching them tight,
Her hand on mine, throughout the night.
But in that dark, no doubt, despite,
I began to wonder if this was right.

Yet stardust and light fell with might,
Casting shadows all about us two.
A glow reminiscent of that fight,
When you left me, and I left you.

Her only wrong was a heart built lite,
Surrounded by those rusty dunes.
She helped hoist my ship upright,
And carve away those bleeding runes.

But after beauty and starlight ceased,
Silence hung amidst that glow.
I fought so hard to fight the beast,
Till the rising tide begged me to go.

So I sat aside her jagged edge,
And journeyed to that lapping moat.
That trickles ’round the world’s ledge,
A subtle touch of summer’s coat.

The shifting sands hid not her tears,
As I cast off those final hours.
Much akin, the kiss love fears,
Lost among next spring’s flowers.

But recollection of past mistakes,
Burnt across my chest in pain.
The wind across a windswept lake!
A fire across a barren plain!

Where was my joy, I wondered, weeping,
Its throne laid empty deep within.
Terrors tentacles snagged, snuck, sneaking,
As it grasped my hearts red skin.

Hence I paddled, my lungs to burst,
Whilst Poseidon laughed and churned with pride.
I gasped for breath, I lunged for moor,
His cackle tearing through my hide.

I had longed so much the empty sea,
Yet here I was, gone at last.
The dawns break on tranquil bow,
Why hath my freedom come so fast?

So hence I lounge across the plank,
My heart lost adrift a coral lair.
My folly listless, it never sank,
But rose unto the salty air.

-Brandon R. Reed


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