The Sea Change by Elaine Edwards
The sea sounds in my bedroom:
waves seeping into the carpet,
pounding the dressing table,
crashing on my pillow.
I float in watery dreams:
pearly-eyed sailors, giant squid, soft-bellied crabs.
Once I was planted,
stood sturdily in my Highveld garden
seasons swept by me
I shook off my leaves in the high cold sun,
green-fingered, entered spring
my fruit was golden, soft-skinned, sweet and juicy,
summer-rain fed and nurtured.
Monkey thorns, paperbarks, knob thorns and marulas
pale exposed roots shiver in the sterile sand
the south-easter strips the leaves
once-proud trunks creak and break.
Mere flotsam now, I lie on the shore
a perch for quarreling gulls
seasons sweep me by
my coral bones grow brittle
as I suffer my sea change.