poetry: transmogrify me

i’ve been to this beach before
but i’m thinking of that one
time when i cried into the wind 
begging spirits to save my trapped
soul and something answered. not mermaid

goddesses wrapped in shimmery light, but
a sea hag draped in foggy 
sadness. “you want out?” she hissed
through cracked lips. i nodded feeling
the air leave my lungs. slippery

quick, an eel through water, my
knees buckled as knarled hands placed 
a rotted seaweed crown upon my 
matted hair. “i deserve nothing but
pain,” i managed to say. manic

laughter roaring with the waves, calling
me a liar. red-bearded pirates
pointed rusty blades at my pale
neck. i ran. and ran. for
years. and years. jellyfish growing fat

within my belly. sharp spiny barnacles
grow under my breasts and between 
my thick thighs. ice forming heavy
around my heart, protecting soft
starfish memories from spilling. but now

oh now

my seaweed crown is slipping. walking
in my old footsteps, i sing
“you are special” under my breath
wondering if i believe. a lilting
voice joins mine and I follow

into a narrow rocky cave. here
a siren gently whispers seashell songs
which vibrate through my body, rocking
me like golden sunset waves. warm
fingers find my face. “you are 

loved,” she sings. “time to forgive
yourself.” salty tears fall from hazel
eyes as slimy seaweed slips onto
the cold sandy ground. i see 
not her beautiful garments nor her

phosphorescent glow, but feel her spinning 
me around. and around. strong hands 
pluck hardened crusty foulers from
my body and smashes them hard onto 
the uneven stone walls. powder turns 

powerful. light burns brighter. i shudder
as the foggy vines the sea 
witch weaved deep within me unwind
faster. and faster. healing. releasing. forgiving.
without a word, the siren leaves.

lavender flowers fall around me. “goodbye”
i say under the golden sky.
four sandpipers watch me walk across
the beach. lighter. they don’t run
but i do. time starts again.

sandpiper friends.

my cave.

the view looking out from the inside of the cave. do you see the siren?

Note: I celebrated my birthday today by spending hours wandering the beach taking photos and writing poetry. I hope you enjoy this poem of healing and that it helps you too.

The song I was singing is “Special” by Lizzo. Watch the music video. It will do your heart some good.