Once I lived on a great white ship.

It carried me far,

far from your arms, far away from me.

I traveled the distance of ten long life times drifting and slipping on the deck in desperation to see clearly.

the nights were long and the wind and rain and the salt grew thick in my mouth

down to my lungs and deep in my bones

cold with the pain and anguish of never knowing;

of fear of what’s ahead.

I bury myself and give myself to the sea.

The sea full of cheers and tears

and memories once forgot and remembered

all at once

to cover y0u in sorrow.

It was then that I saw you. I took a picture of you. To know who you were. To know you were there, to know you were real.

only reading of you in books and the feel of your look from a stranger’s eyes.

I gave up the struggle, for you are stronger than me

and yet so young.

 the little child, frightened.

The terror I saw in your grasp.

I gazed at you with love and in our exchange found warmth

clairvoyant in the embrace

I saw myself in you.

I went back to that place

and landed on the island.

My head full of sand, I felt it dry the tears and pour through me and out through my feet.

It was then that I realized

I am free. -Anna Josette Phipps