by Mary Brunini McArdle
Do you know the jellyfish?
You did when you became it
On a day last summer in the sea.
You pursed your lips, then puffed them–
In and out, in and out,
With the same undulating motion
As the mature Medusa stage;
Tentacles strung out behind
And intermingled with your hair:
You ruled the surface.
To drift like microscopic larvae
Of the arthropods,
Perhaps that of a crab,
Or even then a lobster;
Merged with the mass of plankton
And your million-plus companions;
Whatever animal that you may be--
Soon to become free-swimming.
As only liquid lapping against limbs
And depth can give.
And if you want to fly,
Initiate communion with the Manta Ray,
Friendly, with familiar greetings–
The two of you
Spread out your mammoth fins,
Gentle, silent in the deep,
Passing through the dark blue waters,
Down, down to see the luminous life below.
Copyright © 2008 by Mary Brunini McArdle