Breezy Day in P-Town 1980

I find myself upon an open plain,
More an unexpected mesa on the Cape,
Sharp edged but cannot see beyond,
I am on the highest land around.
Above a hazy, chalky blue-ish sky.
I’m afraid I am not standing on the ground.

And the wind is blowing the short grass
So you cannot see where it’s safe to step,
Upwind, the clouds are black and solid
With that veil of gauze that is rain, I think,
And the wind now brings me moist wet-scented smells,
Mixed with lightning’s dry electric stink.

And I am dizzy, shaking, not serene
As if myself could fly up and away
To escape from whatever may occur
Here down below where things are not so clear.
I take shorter strides with feet wider apart,
My toes curl downward, anchored against fear.

I near the rim and then do not recall
How I found my access to this open space.
An agoraphobic panic now takes hold
And I sit down on a hard-packed shelf.
My eyes shut tight against the next,
As I turtle deeper down within myself.

The last thing I recall as I walk slow,
Escorted down a path to the sea below,
Is the touch of the child who leads me where I go,
My eyes still shut. I do not want to know.
I look again only when the sand
Clings moist and sticky gritty in my hand.
I do not know what I have become,
Nor can I speak. I have been stricken dumb.