You were born with a paper lantern for a
the skin lit from within, the light in
of going out.
-Sandy Longhorn, Cellpoems
“I am saltwater and undercurrents
and not nearly oceanic enough.
I break on these cliff-faces like waves
but I bend where the water would roar.
If I have a daughter I will tell her
to look past the role models presented
by society and take the sea into
her small round fists.
I will take her to the beach and show her
the depths and I will say, learn
to be unafraid like this. Be
what your mother could not.
Give support to the boats that will come
but have always the storm coiled
in your stomach. Show the endless
stretch of your carelessness to those
who are careless with you.
Seawater baby, sleep dreaming
of the Atlantic swell. Be the lapping waves
and the Great White Shark beneath them.
When you are hurt cry yourself
back into your skin. May the saltwater
always replenish your self-belief;
know that your landlocked mother
will always have arms to fit you into.
my daughter the sea | elisabeth hewer