Better than We Could Dream to Be– a poem by Sarah A. Etlinger

Better than We Could Dream to Be–

Listen to the wind singing memory to sleep
its lullaby in the leaves Spring and summer
are coming and so are you rising from the fog
and waiting for me to find you just as I found you
that day we walked to the beach feet combing
the sand and another wind to swirl my hair
your hand in the waves Listen to the gulls
heavy in the sky their calls brief blessings
we walk long as the day stretching before us
light far as the eyes hold and then dissolves
into magic Listen to the magic echo in the water
the air our shapes on cragged rocks
peninsular in the sky the foam lacing
the waves Listen to the tide skirmish
across the water engraving the earth
down upon the sand again we hold ourselves
fast against the coming of time Listen to
hymns whispered in the horizon as it hurls
hurtles across corduroy fields careless as rocks
Listen for the tousle of pebbles the sigh
in sunset the song in clouds as I bury
sinews of my memory in beads chains
I will wear as April peels to May spring
and summer are coming and so are you the deep
breath of spring the only sound I will hear
we are not what we believe we are
we are roots come back as light as breath
as dust and wind longer than it all
prayer in the trees.


Sarah A. Etlinger is an English professor who resides in Milwaukee, WI. A Pushcart-nominated poet, she is author of two chapbooks: Never One for Promises (Kelsay Books, 2018) and Little Human Things (Clare Songbirds, forthcoming Fall 2019). You can find her work in places like Neologism Poetry Journal, The Magnolia Review, and Brine.

1 Comment

  1. Carol says:

    I have just read your poem Sarah. It was beautiful and even more so spoken out loud. There are so many complex issues touches upon. Relationship with self, other and the earth, being present in the moment and the passage of time.
    Thank you for sharing.


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