A Tempest

Flesh of darkness
carved from no holy place
lightning scars and sigils
from my mother’s tomes

I have become the spirit lost
in the forest, singing the lullabies
of tomorrow’s nights, blues of
a phantom alone on an empty isle

Ebon from the oxen horn
withering beneath the treeborn
I drink the limestone waters
burning through twisted pathways

Denied me, maligned
misshapen offspring
of abandoned sea hag
no father claims me
a pauper named me
my present spite
is ancient legacies
rusting beneath the empire
these shores of the lost

With broken seashells
and starfish as friends
I long to return
to the womb that bore me
the only flesh that held me
to take this life of days
that carries on without end

Under star blaze and the river’s bed
I summon you from the drowned weeds
from the hunched back of memory
from ancient herstories untold
from the uncurled ashes
of the cricket’s dream
from the last breath
that death stole
Mother, return
to me

Your forever

—Sheree Renée Thomas