The Old Survivor by the Sea
I saw an old man by the seaside.

He was fishing off the end of a pier.

I asked what he hoped to be catching.

He answered, "I got it. You're here."

He handled his pole like an expert.

His motion was graceful and free.

He reeled in his line, less the sinker.

And handed it over to me.

"I know nothing of fishing," I told him.

"I came to the sea to escape."

He blinked back his tears as he nodded.

"I too, was a victim of rape."

The silence that followed was welcome.

I stood there with nothing to say.

I clung to the pole, though still shaken.

The stranger explained it this way:

"I know that it's tough just surviving

Abuses and moral decay.

And try as we might to escape them,

It's best if we cast them away.

"So I came to the sea as a young boy,

Determined to end it all here.

But I could not jump into the water.

A survivor was out on the pier.

"He taught me to tie up my sorrows

And raise the pole back in the air.

He showed me how casting and fishing

Can be healing and holy, like prayer.

"His line soared out over the water.

The sinker he used was my hate.

And tying a knot for assurance,

He added my tears as the bait.

"He gave me his pole, that survivor,

And trusted that I would remain.

He turned then, and left me alone there,

Just casting away all my pain.

"It took me a long time to notice,

Or maybe I just failed to look,

But the hate and the grief I had tied on

Were somehow removed from the hook.

"So now you have come to relieve me.

It's your turn with this rod and reel.

Just practice your tying and casting,

That you might help someone else heal.

We learn what we can when we're mentored.

And the old man taught healing to me.

Now it's my turn to wait by the seaside,

For someone with more hurt than me.


From the Movie: Antwone Fisher