A Safe Place

By Kathleen Haynie

When did I feel safe?

I can’t remember ever feeling safe. I search. Maybe I felt safe at Ocean Beach—only strangers around and I could keep my distance. A place to run to on the “N” Judah street car. Run from the fighting, run from hurt, run from the anger. Run to feel away, to feel unfettered, to yell at the ocean where no one could hear my voice drowned out by the Pacific roar.

I could hide in the open expanse of sand and waves and roar and motion and cry, the tears running.


Run into the cold fog, run into the bits of sand in the air, run with the pull of the earth. Drawn into the pull of the receding water, losing itself/myself into the empty of personality, empty of emotion. Fleeing and dissolving into the pull back into self.

Self-drained with fast breathing, salt saliva falling from the corners of my mouth, legs shuddering. Walk into the empty, let down, rhythm, constant, certain, constantly coming in, constantly leaving and blending, losing.

Safe in the roar, safe in the pull, safe in the empty.

Kathleen Haynie. This City Girl turned into a Sonoma County Horse Girl, and then retired from decades as a professional in health care. She is now acting out a latent inclination for the dramatic arts as a drama student and cast member of Off the Page Readers Theater.

Surprisingly, the journey continues into the newly found delight discovered in written expression. Kathleen felt honored to have her work, What They Did to Alice, performed at the 6th Street Playhouse 2020 Women’s Festival. She has decided that dark chocolate is perfect with a full-bodied red wine.

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