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  • By James A. Tweedie

A Grief Observed

William Trost Richards’s “Along the Atlantic” (1870).

In dactylic hexameter

Turgid the sea as it billows and foams in the face of the tempest. Wind-lifted wave-crests explode into diamonds agleam in the sunlight. Surf-spray erupts atop surge-curled water descending in free fall Sweeping the beach leaving smooth-glistened sand in the wake of its ebbing.

Lonely I stand with my back to the shore and my face to the ocean Turgid my soul as the tide sucks the sand out from under my bare feet Broken I bow to the baptismal mist which embraces my sorrow Tears wicked away by the bone-chilling blast of the winter storm’s fury.

Weary I rise with a whispered farewell to the one who once loved me Grief undenied yet consoled by the pow’r of the tempest’s caresses Slowly I turn with the incessant roar of the sea now behind me. Walking the beach-path that leads to our home where my family awaits me.

James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.

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