If I Was
     after Stanley Kunitz
by Wilderness Sarchild

If I was the sea
but I am not the sea,
I would pound the sand,
become the largest wave
pounding the sand,
make love to the sand,
rough and glorious,
ecstasy showering over the land.

If I was the sky
but I am not the sky,
I would paint myself
the purest shade of blue
to cradle the sun.
As evening beckons,
I would paint myself red,
purple, pink, orange
and yellow,
become fire
to warm the moon.

If I was you
but I am not you,
I would be your crooked smile,
walk with that slight limp,
giggle at little babies,
and wake up in the night
to open the curtain of fog.

PHOTO: Making friends on the beach in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  I wrote this poem during a two-month retreat living on the beach in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico. The sea was so rough that it was dangerous to swim there. The sky was huge compared to my home on Cape Cod [Massachusetts], where the trees divvy up the sky. I was listening to Stanley Kunitz on a CD one Baja evening and immediately wrote this poem.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wilderness Sarchild is an expressive arts therapist, poet, playwright, and grandmother of five.  Her play Wrinkles, the Musical  (co-written with Naomi Turner) will be produced at The Cape Cod Theatre Company in May 2017.  Her poems have been published in several anthologies/ journals, and she has won awards for her poetry and playwriting from Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,  Chicago’s Side Project Theatre Company, and in 2015 she was the first-place regional winner of the Joe Gouveia WOMR National Poetry Competition.