At ten years old, I stood
Hand in hand with my mother
On the edge of the world.
The waves lapped at our feet,
Burned by scorched sand and the
We stood and admired the great expanse
Of nothing that shone in front of us.
She looked down at me and gradually
Unclasped her lithe fingers from mine.
She said that I would have to make the journey
From that world into a world of my creation
Alone. That I had to trust my feet and
Walk the path that had been
Embedded with my name since birth.
She would always
Be behind me, whether I chose to look back
Or not. That she knew I would make
The choices not best for her,
Or for anyone else,
But those that were best for myself.
As she stepped back from what felt like
A sheer cliff with no drop,
My scabbed knees and small hands
Began to tremble.
I looked back and she smiled.
I took a deep breath and I felt the world
Sigh with me, as I took my first step.
At ten years old, I walked two hundred and seven steps
Into the Atlantic Ocean before turning back.
It was a gateway to worlds I couldn’t
Maybe it was too soon; maybe I was too young.
At seventeen I returned to that place.
The same island, the same beach, the same spot.
I felt the comfort of a hand in mine
But there was no one there,
And as I stepped into the ocean I sensed
A change in my weary feet.
I walked the same two hundred and seven steps
Off the edge of the world.
It has been almost three years, and
Though I have returned home,
I am still walking through the sea,
Trying to find the fabled world
That is mine alone to own.