All Day the Fierce Wind

All day the fierce wind that began
            at five in the morning–dancing
                        with patio chairs and table,

Blasting and whining and shaking
            ​windows and doors—went on: crests of waves
                        doubled in number, charged the beach

From a bay that just two days before had been
            tranquil, still.

Outside to the west the jumble of nearby palms
            was a frenzy of silk
                        stockings rubbing together,

Whispers magnified ten thousand times. And then, just
            as I was falling that night into sleep, a new
                        sound—a low, comforting purr, a gentle

Inhalation, exhalation, regular, deep—a sound
            I’d never heard you make in your sleep before—a soft
                        crunch of toasted bread with a musical edge.

And when next morning, at first light, you rose
            ​and the sound went on, I recognized at last, as from
​​                        the time before I was born,

The steady intimate breath of the sea.


Ingrid Wendt

About Ingrid Wendt

Ingrid Wendt is the author of five books of poems, one chapbook, and a teaching guide. Co-editor of In Her Own Image: Women Working in the Arts and the Oregon poetry anthology From Here We Speak, and the recipient of numerous awards, she performs with the Motet Singers, a women's a cappella ensemble of 13. Her most recent book is Evensong. She lives in Eugene with her husband, poet and writer Ralph Salisbury.
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