• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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Guarding the Self

Luxuriating in a warm bath,
shedding my troubles
like a selkie sheds its skin,
I drift into a dreamy tableau.

My palette is oily grey and blue-green
sea-water lapping exposed fair skin.
White mists bring a promise of light
from out of receding dark clouds.

A selkie sister sits on my thigh,
her tail fin crossed in hopeful blessing,
her hair a blackness reflecting
 the mystery in her liquid eyes.

An elder tenderly holds a pup,
seated by a shell that sounds other worlds.
Two others float beside me,
waiting with watchful concern.

Don’t worry; all is well.
Happy memories seep into this scene:
sisters painting one another’s toe nails
a daring, scandalous red;

the sunshine yellow of a child’s plastic duck,
its red beak and round eyes
open in wonder at the beauty
of this earth, this life.