Sandy Patton is a Norfolk, Virginia native. She is a member of Virginia Beach Writers, Hampton Roads Writers, and
Poetry Society of Virginia. In Sunlight & Shadows, Poems from The Seasons of Life is her first Chapbook.
Her honors include winning the First Place Award for Poetry for Swan Song Seduction, at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference, 2013, and for her poem, Shelter, currently displayed at the Virginia Beach SPCA.
This poem was written for her daughter, Alyssa.
In early years, any attempt to brush
or comb through wild, untamed
locks proved futile. I prayed neighbors
wouldn’t call the police upon hearing
the theatrical shrieks of pain coming
from our daughter at bath time.
At four, with a Kool-Aid mustache grin,
hands on hips, and a toss of blond curls,
my impish child firmly announced,
“I’m a mermaid,” and that was that.
And, indeed, she fit the image in every way,
except of course, for the detail of the tail.
This enchanting, eternal child of the sea
relished those carefree, bathing suit days,
where blazing sun and salt water ocean
bronzed her skin, adding highlights of gold
and silver threads to honey-colored tresses,
gathered up in her perpetual ponytail.
She danced at water’s edge, swam with the
expertise of a her beloved mermaids,
built sandcastles, raced the waves to shore.
She’d breathe in familiar scents of sea air
laced with tropical oils, smile,
and know she was home.
Time drifted deliciously by,
and it was there, on that white stretch
of beach, my charming chameleon
came of age, transforming from sunburned
Tomboy to sun-kissed beauty; a cascade of
curls tumbling all around, catching light.
Summers fly by, and it seems I’ve only
blinked, and now before me stands a
breathtaking woman, witty, brilliant,
a huge heart, so confident in her skin,
so certain of who she is, where she’s
going, and what she wants.
And always, the pull of the ocean
will flow through her veins,
soothing her spirit, calling her name
like a lost child,
beckoning her home.
My magical, mystical mermaid