by Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg

THE SEA at its worst drives a white foam up,
The same sea sometimes so easy and rocking with green mirrors.
So you were there when the white foam was up
And the salt spatter and the rack and the dulse—
You were done fingering these, and high, higher and higher
Your feet went and it was your voice went, “Hai, hai, hai,”
Up where the rocks let nothing live and the grass was gone,
Not even a hank nor a wisp of sea moss hoping.
Here your feet and your same singing, “Hai, hai, hai.”

Was there anything else to answer than, “Hai, hai, hai,”?
Did I go up those same crags yesterday and the day before
Scruffing my shoe leather and scraping the tough gnomic stuff
Of stones woven on a cold criss-cross so long ago?
Have I not sat there … watching the white foam up,
The hoarse white lines coming to curve, foam, slip back?
Didn’t I learn then how the call comes, “Hai, hai, hai”?

Last updated May 02, 2015