Letting the Anchors Fly – A Poem

I was at10409112_10154207683270532_7247393994523548377_n

the water again.

The waves lapped

at the shoreline

and I wondered

how easy it

would be to

walk into the

water with all

that held me

down. I was

looking so hard

at the waves

that I didn’t

hear her approach.

You look like Scooge’s ghost.

She said. Her

voice was deep,

her face lined.

She looked older

than time itself.

I’m sorry?

Scrooges ghost. Marley! That’s it. He had chains, but you got ghosts.

What are you talking about?       

You don’t see them, but they’re there all the same. Can’t you feel them?

I just have these.

I held out

my arm. It

was tattooed with

seven different anchors,

etched into my

skin with ink.

She laughed long

and hard, as

if she had

never seen anything

quite so funny.

That explains why their around you, following you like lost puppies. What are they for?

I bristled at

her laughter and

drew myself up.

They remind me not to forget. They remind me of what happened. Of where I came from.

She looked at

me, gave me

a stern look

that was somehow

kind and saw

into me, into

the very heart

of me. I

looked back at

her, trying to

communicate what I

was feeling inside.

She nodded, as

if she understood.

At that nod,

I heard the

jingle jangle of

chains rattling around

both of us.

Honey, we all have shit that people have done, that people have said. Even if we’ve dealt with that shit, it can still weigh us down, even if no one else can see it. You’ve got to let the anchors go.

Unbeknownst  to me,

tears started to

fall from my

eyes and I

did nothing to

stop their flow.

I don’t know how.

I said. My

voice wobbled and

was approaching a

loud pitched wail.

Well you got to. Why do you think you’re at the water every day? Why do you think you want to walk into the water like Virginia Woolf with her dress full of rocks? You gotta let the anchors go, get free from your chains.

I don’t know how!

I screamed this

at her, the

force of my

voice shocking me.

She nodded again

and came towards

me, holding out

he hands. I

wasn’t afraid of

her, I didn’t

back away. I

welcomed her touch.

Let me help you.

She laid her

hands on the

arm that held

the tattoos and

a warmth spread

from her touch.

It spread up

my arm and

into me, as

if her heat

were a living

thing. The anchors

on my arm

began to shift

on my skin,

as if the tattoos

were melting off

of my skin.

The heat from

her touch increased

and I heard another

clang of chains

and the flapping

of wings. I

looked at the

tattoos as they

began to change

and morph. I

heard more fluttering

of wings and

nearly screamed when

the first anchor

tattoo became a

small black crow.

It lifted off

my skin and

grew larger It

stayed there in

the air and

looked at me

for a moment

before flying away.

Six more crows

came after the

first one and

when each one

left my skin,

the clang jangle

of chains grew

louder until it

sounded like music.

I watched as

each of the

crows flew away

into the air

and marvelled at

how light I

felt, how free.

When they were

gone, the music

of the chains

ceased and I

could see them,

like long snakes

twisting along the

sand. They shone

bright, burning red

as if they were

being heated by

fire and then

blew apart into

dust that shone

like diamonds. I

was silent for

a moment, marvelling

at the gift

the woman had

given me, at

her kindness. I

looked at her.

Why did you do this for me? Is there anything I can do for you?

She gave me

another laugh and

instead of ruffling

my feathers, the

sound filled me

with light. When

she took her

hand away, I

still felt her

warmth inside me.

Just go on and live your life honey. Besides, I didn’t want you to end up like me.

She touched my

cheek and gave

me another smile

and turned from

me. She walked

into the water

and seemed to

float on it

for an instant

before her form

began to fade

and all that

was left of

her was taken

by the waves.


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