By My Birth Land’s Waters

And the sea called me

My feet have been dry for too long

It comes to me in dreams

It claims me back as a birthright

«The princess of the sea,»

He crowned me.

At war with the sea,

At peace with the concrete that I once despised

While the waters were everything to him,

The sea took everything from me

At dawn we’d prepare for the catch

To bring fresh sustenance from it

At dusk we’d return to our wooden castle

Our time spent together was a cherished treasure

This joyous nightly feast

A wooden crooked table for two,

A fresh catch of fish, a royal meal.

That cursed morning I decided to stay,

As I played by the shore building sand castles

To be soon washed away by the cruel waters

I laid and awaited to meet him ashore

He broke his traditional return

As the light grew dim, so did my hope

Tearful, fearful, unsure

The king of the sea betrayed by his tides

I ran through the sand until I met the stony road

I was the princess of the sea, that was once.

My virgin feet used to walk naked on sand

Now, a peasant away from the coast

My feet corrupted by daily soles

The waters called me every night

As the shore sang its mermaid’s lullaby

Until it victoriously summoned me back to it

But now with wrinkles around my eyes,

And a few silver hairs on my head

I break down as the sea embraces my feet

I let the sand immerse my bare soul

It soaks my aged mourning

It returns the crown to my stormy hair

I inhale the smell of tropics that brush me by

A stream of memories of my neglected castle

Who am I?

My doubts are washed away by my birth land’s passing waters

My father whispers through the breeze,

«The princess of the sea»

This island seems strange

but it must be me who has changed

For so long a lost foreigner in crowded streets,

By the waters is where I have to be


Camille Osorio Zuniga and Jamison Bond.

© Camille Osorio Zuniga and Jamison Bond and Fiesta de Letras, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Camille Osorio Zuniga and Jamison Bond and Fiesta de Letras with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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