Variation on a Theme by Mary Oliver


Laurie Kolp





Start by unbecoming.

Unbecome the doubt.

You can live without

the insecurity,

walking on your knees

through red-hot sand

begging for forgiveness.

Tell me about your guilt,

I will tell you about mine.

Meanwhile, life goes on.

The tide drifts high and low

as moon and earth play tug-of-war.

Meanwhile, children jump

the waves and wrestle seaweed

while tossing frisbees, grownups

gather shark teeth and sand dollars.

Meanwhile, clouds swallow the sun

and it returns. It always returns

like each new day.

As you wallow in self-pity,

the ocean welcomes you.

Until you unbecome,

you will drown

while those you love

float on by.









Laurie Kolp’s poems have appeared in the Southern Poetry Anthology VIII: Texas, Stirring, Whale Road Review, concis and Up the Staircase.  Her poetry books include the full-length Upon the Blue Couch and the chapbook Hello, It’s Your Mother.  An avid runner and lover of nature, Laurie lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs.