July 28, 2012
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Storm clouds gathered quickly; waves grew to thirteen feet.
There were not many swimmers, and they all left the beach.
Deflated cheap plastic rafts hung around my neck.
I understood finally no life guards on the deck.

My child ran out once again for a long time it would be
that we returned to Florida to play in the deep sea.
I motioned for her to return. The storm bade us to go.
I realized she was struggling with the undertow.

I plunged the violent waters, which allowed us no contact.
Fear in me was mounting that I would not get her back.
The rip tide tossed our bodies; hard rain began to pour.
I threw the rafts out to her; reeled her to me once more.

We had traveled out too far. The buoys we had passed.
Thunder roared so loudly; Daylight faded fast.
We clung onto each other; desperate fear prevailed.
She screamed: “I want my Daddy!”; Trauma words can’t tell.

Fixed fast to my daughter, swimming without sight
I prayed to reach the buoy, trying with all my might.
Captured by a gigantic wave that dropped us at the float,
we grabbed onto the buoy which seemed our only hope.

My legs embraced the cable, no longer just a cord.
Years of barnacles cut like teeth; forced blood and life to pour.
Squeezing tight my waistline with her little legs;
though desperation peaked the child no longer begged.

Hail dashed hard against us. Ocean salt burned our eyes.
Lightning danced around us while darkness penalized.
The buoy tossed with violence; dunked us on every side.
I knew my destination if we did not stay alive.

Blood floated on the water though too dark for me to see.
Aware that we were shark bait, strength was leaving me.
I tried to look to Heaven; no obvious light was found.
I repented in the ocean with faith we would not drown.

Praying for another chance to live my life in truth,
I relied on the lessons I learned throughout my youth.
When I spoke the one name so many hate to hear.
Huge waves became ripples; the sky brightened and cleared.

The sun shown in the Heavens as the Son embraced my heart.
The violent storm once raging bowed and did depart.
We hung there on the buoy making a joyful sound.
Elements spoke the brightest day. We knew we had been found.

Deputies and firemen came to us on a boat.
News reporters on the shore took pictures, and made notes.
They treated us for lockjaw. They tended rips and tears.
They told us we were lucky that someone saw us there.

Next day in the newspaper the report about us said
we ignored the flag system, and almost wound up dead.
The headlines of that paper so emphatically stated
the worst hurricane predicted suddenly dissipated.

No one could understand it except my child and me.
This is just one reason I trust The Master of The Sea.

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