The Lighthouse Keeper

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She stands on the rain-slicked cliffs, watching the sky open up before her
Hearing the waves break over the rocky shore far below
She looks toward the east, toward the storm that’s quickly gathering
She wonders if it will be as fearsome as the last
She stands with her back towards her home, facing the sea
Staring into its unfathomable depths
Unpredictable and yet unchanging
Its waves as familiar as the damp earth beneath her bare feet
The sound of its dip and swell as natural as breathing
All her fears and hopes are held in its teasing embrace

The wind smells of salt and storm
In the distance thunder shakes the heavens
The ocean’s waves grow larger ‘til it churns with a fury to match the darkened sky
She turns her back on its anger and walks toward the tower of light
It’s vacant now, idle and useless
She will light its beacon and let it pour forth its guiding rays
She smiles at the blackness that surrounds her
All the better a backdrop for her light
She climbs, up and up the well-worn stairs
Finally she reaches the top
And she calls the sailors home





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