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BellaOnline Literary Review
Tampa Bay Sunset by Lisa Shea

Table of Contents


I Am From

Tabitha Ann

I am from sea scales dried on my skin,
from stagnant waters and closed doors,
bleached bathrooms and made beds;
tucked and taut.
I am from pruned hedges,
clipped and controlled,
where weeds dare not dip their toes,
unless I ran like a wild thing
across the lawn.
I am from her artistīs brush and his calloused hands,
from the clash of those two brought together;
the drowning under voices that came for me,
like waves night after night.
I am from running away
and running towards.
I am from an English cup of tea with a side of books
from the closeness of reading;
the lilt of my motherīs words.
I am from a ladder against a tree,
a doorway to gardenīs magic
where fairies ate passion fruit
and flew with dandelion seeds on humid breeze
Escape, always escape.

I am from guilt you wear like overcoats
and rules you trudge through like snow
from house with a sister who clung,
no matter where we went
and two little girls who had nowhere to go;
nothing children in an upside down land.
I am from years of hiding,
in boxes, in shadows, in daylight, in front of you,
a shipwrecked being, a loss without being found,
From things that haemorrhage,
when finally it was all enough.
I am from woman.
From inside,
who took that little girl’s hand she once was,
and birthed a woman who can say,
I am from me.