Impulse once drove my plunges –
glorious confidence propelling
fortuitous dives – unknown waters
an adventure to be conquered.
Even with onset of anxiety
I’d stalk shorelines, ignore
whispering of catastrophe,
hold my breath and submerge.
Doubt would follow determination,
but buoyed by adversity, I’d swim,
force commanding adaptation –
I’d find my mermaid’s breath.
Motherhood introduced constraint
called forth sensibility and caution –
whimsy replacing practicality,
a shedding of iridescent tail.
I only dig in dirt now –
ground my offspring to earthly
forays, forbid capriciousness,
convince myself I’m solid.
Absentminded burrowing –
(corners of compulsion)
reveal abandoned passages –
old waterways exhumed.
Proclaimed pragmatism falters,
spontaneity takes hold, transforms
I am nymph again – free floating
Neptune’s daughter resuscitated.
(This poem, originally entitled Chasing Mermaids, first appeared in September, 2015. It has been edited. Image is my own.)