Imagination is the heart of everything we do.
As a child
it happened in the middle of chores.
While sweeping the barn floor, a pulley hook
appeared among sawdust & paint chips. Cord tangled
in vine leaves hung behind.
Drawn to the object, it soon became he, a sea horse
beached in wet sand and broken shells. A creature
in need of rescue.
After my broom battled the debris, I carried him
inside our house, washed and swaddled him in a linen
handkerchief. The dog and cat seemed jealous
but so what --
I had summoned someone magical
who came from an underwater kingdom
where wishes would be granted for his care
Two days passed when papa said
it was time to put him back . Reluctantly,
I left him under fraying rope and ivy
spilling through cracks in the cement wall.
they were coral strands and barnacles
clustered on the side of a sunken ship. But no gifts
for my efforts to nurse and gratify
an equine fish.
Years later, I found a fallen branch in the forest
that looked like a parrot. It became a piece
of painted sculpture.
In the garden, a tree root that resembled
an Asian dragon. Polished with beeswax and mounted
on oak, it became a wall hanging
in my husband's study.
And on the beach, driftwood molded in the shape
of a mermaid. I had grown layered hair
and a sleek tail. Marbled by the elements, she reminded my mind
it had been given a sea.