Above the Ship Wreck

My favorite poet, Sarah Kay and her poem “Ghost Ship” from her latest book No Matter the Wreckage had inspired me to express how I deal with the “ship wrecks” of my life. Her witty lines and illustrative lyrics encouraged me to share how my spirituality and religious beliefs give me the superhuman energy to live each day, no matter the wreckage.

 

When I was six years old I liked to pretend that I was a mermaid. My hair, not really red, was colored with the imagination of a sea traveler with dreams and expectations of becoming someone that mattered. I grew into my fishtail, reflective with scales that were ready to take on the ocean, with all its vastness and uncertainty.

But my childhood, filled with Disney VHS tapes and Harry Potter books, quickly vanished when life’s hand slapped me hard in the face.

The singing fish, the rainbow sea shells and music playing coral were gone. Instead of a mermaid I was a voyager on a ship that sailed through life’s storms, unaware of how merciless this world can be.

Reality covered the sun as a hurricane of life’s obstacles steered my ship to different paths.

Drowning in failed expectations, life’s disappointments and complete isolation, each broken shard of wood pierced my dignity, with waves dragging me down deeper into the ocean, with all its vastness and uncertainty. Sea monsters with horrible eyes that reflected utter loneliness.

But with every last breath I had, I mustered, “Dear God..”  I fired a red flare.

A sign of helplessness, a siren of vulnerability, a SOS signal.

Then a light ignited in me just as lightning strikes its target. God’s words became my instruction manual; my survival kit. His Gospel thrown to me during the lessons like a life vest keeping me afloat as if to save me.

Each verse gave me the right coordinate to help me navigate around the treacherous waters.

Each prayer patched every hole that was left by defeated attempts to succeed.

Forget about Ariel and her desire to become a part of this world, I want to be a captain of a ship sailing to some place greater.

Striving to be like the early islanders of the Far East that lived to survive each day because each day brought a rain storm.

Their sea monsters snatched away their lives, death being the only survivor.

Each ship wreck brought them more courage

Each failure brought them more success

Because humility and endurance defined superhuman energy that eliminated the detractors of our faith

And as a young traveler who is still navigating her way through life, I’m learning to conquer this vicious ocean

I’ve put all the different clichés of “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and tucked them away in a bottle so I can find them washed up on shore.

Trusting this compass God gave me to point me in the right direction, I call that Faith.

Promising me something more than just a buried treasure; I’ve learned to call that Hope.

Testing me like gold because He values me more than any worldly commodity; I call that Love.

All three I use as anchors to keep me grounded to withstand the next upcoming storm.

 

**For more similar poems visit: http://incmedia.org/content/poetry-contest/

 

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