Proteus (Old Man of the Sea)

“I love my free spirit.
I trust my creative power.
I generate the wind beneath my wings
and enjoy the journey.”
—Michael Nash Mantra

Since you died three years ago,
whenever I fly
I find you
in the clouds.

On this date, you have come to me
as a wave breaking
against a jetty
in Oak Bluffs,

as a young fox
darting along a beach road
on the farthest tip
of Cape Cod at dawn.

As I board another plane
bound for New York,
I wonder what form
you’ll assume this year.

Gulls don’t
get so high.

You might wait till I land.
The wrong season
for a Sandy Hook harbor seal
haul out.

No, something will soar
overhead if I can be
patient, still
as the Palisades.

Anything with wings, Dad.
Show me anything with wings.

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