Rescue You

One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a parent and a friend is that we sometimes cannot rescue the people we so desperately want to.  Sometimes we can only offer our imperfect love, bear witness,  offer our presence.  Johnnyswim’s Rescue You (below) popped into my head today while talking to a friend– we have shared experience with the pain of realizing that we cannot always protect people we love from themselves.  This poem is for him.

I see you drowning in the choppy waters

Of this complicated life

You are engaged in a never-ending battle

With the punishing tides

Buffeted, tossed head over heels by the waves


It is clear that you are bone tired

That your limbs are heavy

Your clothes water-logged, dragging you down

You are struggling to tread water

But you refuse to swim back to the safety of shore


I respect your decision, understand your dilemma

You alone are holding the balance between

The ocean and the moon

Single-handedly maintaining the gravitational orbit

Preventing catastrophe


I hurt for you, it is so much responsibility

I cannot rescue you if you will not accept my proffered hand

You will not save yourself

But perhaps you will let me help carry the load

However briefly


I kick off my shoes, take off my socks

Swim out to you, dragging the flotation devices

In my wake

One for you, one for me

I know that this solves nothing in the long run

But I will offer what relief I can my friend

And not leave you out here drowning alone


Categories: Poetry

Tagged as: , , , ,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s