I found a bottle bobbing in the tides along the shore,
slick with slime and battered by the storms that came before
it found its way to me. The cold wind moaned and nipped my face
as I waded out to snatch it up safe, from that murky place.
It was roughly crusted with a barnacled hard shell
and smelled of desperate furlongs traveled far too close to hell,
and loneliness…for hell is total isolation, stark…
just self forever chained to self in utter endless dark.
I held it up against the muddy skies just tinged with red
and golds as the earth turned and spun and day stood on her head
to mark another moment brief and echo all the days
gone tumbling by since the first sunset sky was set ablaze.
Hidden there, just barely seen thru crusted colored glass
I saw a wispy paper stained and dull like tarnished brass
neglected for some 50 years and put there then by me…
I’d written it to this me now, and cast it in the sea.
My heart, my tears, my blood combined to fall upon that page
and tell of longings, tell of sorrows, tell of that locked cage
of flesh and words and hammer-fists and heartbreak ever more
and tell my future me about the life that I’d abhorred.
My knees grew weak, then buckled. I remembered that hard day
I’d put my heart into that bottle, hurled it far away,
thinking I could rid myself of all my hurt and ache
but knowing not that we can never outrun life’s heartbreak.
My hands shook, fingers fumbling as I freed my desperate cry.
The bottle birthed its message, gave a tiny copper sigh
and then began to sing to me in querulous hopeful song
of future hopes and me made free instead of me born wrong.
I’d written there “Dear Me, please do not tire of our fight
but be courageous in the midst of darkest blackest night.
Rise up inside yourself and let your beauty blooming free
become the joyful woman that we know ourself to be.”
The message trailed off in a scrawl, the letters marred by tears
I’d cried that day I’d cast away my me, then, all those years
I’d lived in sorrow, days passed dead within my mask, my shell…
that scroll was me, a message in a bottle prison cell.
I sat there for awhile until I’d caught back up to me
and let those words become living and vital, strong and free.
And then I blew into the bottle grace to there reside
Forever, then I corked it and returned it to the tide.
I watched the bottle drift away until I had to go
and saw the years marked out thru tides of time, and ebb and flow
How our hearts return back home to whisper secrets from the past
to help us lay our burdens down and find True Rest at last.