Reaching Land

On Pender Island, sunk within
the slow, coastal glacier of fog,
my breath is coming clearer.
I am surfacing.

My body has been shaking and spitting
salt water and weeds, breathing in
short gulps of island air. The
city has been slowly seeping from my lungs.

A night of fever –
tilting in a hammock, overlooking the harbour –
shivering. The rain stops.
Somewhere I drifted off,
for two hours. My unsteady legs
help me across the porch.
I speak to Lee Maitland, still speaking
in rasped vowels, gasping from half-full lungs.
I could still be dreaming, but I breathe
easier with each word she forms.

Ah, it is drawing out the poison,
when I thought that nothing could.
It is dulling the golden axe that I
have carried all this way.
I have come up from the ocean now,
which I carried with me too.
It is sweet to have my shoulders free,
and the fever leaping through me
to be breaking.