island girl

I stuck a sandwich in her mouth.
she swam every wave
that crashed against
the shore of Lake Michigan
that sizzling summer day.
gulping the turkey down,
happy to replace some of the
calorie lost in the movement
of water and sand,
she turned an eye to
the continued maelstrom
that was the day’s condition.
‘the waves are calling me,’
she whispered to it,
not me who was insistent
that she stay 15 more minutes
on the towel to settle the
slug of food and drink,
but the lake entranced her
and called her home-
island girl that she is.
standing, her little suit stretched
tight across an Irish derriere,
her Puerto Rican stamp,
sun darkened, nut-brown.
‘the waves are calling me.’
fearless, not afraid to call back
the tide whether in the darkness
of the North Atlantic or
crystal blue light of the Caribbean,
she walked into it with conviction,
her sweater, her skin, marked
with both tribes that let
it be perfectly known that
the sea, the water, could not drag her under.
‘the waves are calling me,’
and she pulled me up from the sands
to ride across and through any danger
she sensed. island girl:
as happy on land as in the sea.
selke, her seal coat water resistant
and protective of current and drag.
the waves call her, home.

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