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The First Time I Went to St Abbs ©

Nancy Purves
Calgary, Canada
2003

I stand on the cliffs by St.Abbs
searching across the vast blue horizon
and I see nothing
nothing to do with me anyway
or my life-or MY family
just the sand and the sea
just the seabirds and the waves.
No kin of mine out there
so what do I feel
and why do I feel it
so strongly
in my bones?
I see the fisherman in the distance
too far to spoil my homecoming
with their friendly but mundane words
I turn my eyes again deliberately to the sea
for what was I forever searching?
Out there
in my childhood dreams
something
something I'd lost
irretrievably
eternally
lost
the infernal grieving.
So I've come now to stand
here, where my ancestors surely must have stood
To face the sea and the wind,
to let those strange old feelings envelop me once again
not understanding anything more
but trying by the shear force of my will
to let myself-in this place-feel it all
and -- FINALLY BE FREE.


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