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  • Writer's pictureGalen Warden

At the Mid-Tide


A single mother with a successful career performs

like a muscle-bound dolphin when the Lowcountry tide is full.

She swims the depths of discovery with

better lovers than her husband,

but outgrows their sway, withdrawing from those

complications with the pull of the moon.


She knows that eventually the pluff mud will be revealed.

Enclaves of oysters and impatient crabs will greet her on her journey,

and she’ll resign herself to the shallows of tidepools and rivulets,

knowing she once swam with the big fish.


But for now, the spartina grass waves, cheering her on

in both reality and reflection, the tide just right for brave adventures.

Finding the deepest channels, she ventures just far enough,

then back, timing her forays before threat of grounding.


It’s at the mid-tide that a great blue heron on slender legs wades in

to fish for silver minnows, easily caught in more accessible depths.

Like them, she easily contents herself, catching movies she prefers,

Spending hours on writing—not entertaining—and solitary walks with her terrier.


Dreams that flooded her youth are replaced by seasoned wishes

That fulfill their promise. Pulled toward the moon they flow,

Emptying unnecessary whims until what remains is perfection.

A sweet breeze hums, “This is your time.

You’ve finally hit your stride at the mid-tide.”


Galen Warden

9-9-23



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