Self-Portrait at 40 – Poem by KB Ballentine

At the edge of the ocean
I find my center –
the swell and dip of rhythmic waves
journeying from place
to place, never stopping, never
reaching any home –
worrying, teasing the shore then off
again

On the edge of the ridge
I find my worth –
how trivial I am when I view
the river, the gorge, the rise of mountain
as it climbs to my rocky seat,
where hawks wing below my feet

Water and stone –
transience, permanence –
on the edge, always the edge,
balance precarious, prize tempting
but never claimed

KB Ballentine

KB Ballentine's work appears in River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century (2015), Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI:Tennessee (2013) and Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets (2011). Her third collection, What Comes of Waiting, won the 2013 Blue Light Press Book Award.

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