Fear of Water

The waves crash against the shore
whether I watch or not,
but what of the beaches?
Who has drowned in the surf?

I hear the roar of the tides crash.
You wouldn’t think the sound would
be loud enough to distract me
from my normal life. So far away.

Anxiety has always told me
that I would drown — even on solid ground —
and age has taught me that the old fear lies.
But the crash of the waves grows louder
from the ocean that is too far away to see.

I want to believe that my fears are still lies,
but I have seen the inland tides rise
to swallow the house I thought was safe.
Tomorrow isn’t today.
Tides can be measured but not guaranteed.
They shift and recede and rise
and flood.

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