I am not a building, I’m a boat—
floating, flexible, knocked off course by conditions and tide; able to
course correct and aim for port anyway, despite the latest weather.
I am not a reinforced tower, fortified against earthquake with codes and regulations.
My life is not solid; my work involves people.
You cannot be efficient with people, only things.
My job is to coil the ropes on my decks carefully,
to pack the correct charts,
to know my vessel well—
then trim with conditions—
Swells and breakers, tide and shore;
changing weather by the hour.
I respect highly,
but they do not dictate all the conditions I face.
We tend to want to stay anchored, tethered, safe.
Or to stay on land only.
To fortify defenses or create rules against earthquakes.
Some earthquakes in life cannot be fortified against.
Building codes save lives; they cannot stop earthquakes.
Have you experienced a metaphorical earthquake recently?
Quietly slip down to the sea.
Float out into the harbor, provisioned—don’t
resist and crack—
Take crew to help; or sign on to another’s vessel
and voyage with a more experienced captain.
But take a journey into the unknown; that
destination you dreamed of.
This prose poem is for Bobbie’s birthday.