onto dry land
by Elizabeth DeBarros
Acrylic on linen, 24 x 36, Kathryn Abernathy
Exactly when I sank I can’t say • Overnight, this stowaway lay sequestered • nine days silent • sentenced to the bottom of the ocean floor • Squid ink disorients the brain, I could not think • tempest set against me, no way of escape • Gravity led the procession (this imposition became the assignment) with crushing force, until my walls shook • Irony delivered its verdict: “In her absence, cords were cut, men came forth • out of her dilemma a stand was taken: ‘Struck down, but not destroyed.'”
What of these aching arms? • Better yet, how heavy is dead weight? • Good questions expose things like roots and debris to the material witness of stale courtroom air • flesh and blood are bound to fail, every breath comes from Him.
Quake, little mountain; roar on, billowing sea. Faith opens doors and my mouth utters this confession:
He is LORD, fear Him.
At last, this, my only offering: in yearning to go home came my remedy: “I have declared peace.” • spit out onto dry land • I’m picking up these bones as fast as I can • learning to walk again coram Deo • informed by this:
To live is Christ, to die is gain.
©2014 Elizabeth DeBarros
For further meditation