she was born in a beginning of survival

a feverish fight to exist within the odds against her

to be alive was a victory

to be was a promise to grow beyond what she was expected to become

so she ate the ocean for breakfast, inhaled the

wide possibility that the waves of shore carry every morning

depositing hope with every coming and going

and she smiled through each passing

even when the salt stung

even when the water rang in her ears

even when the sound of the ocean snatched her breath away

a thief that never looked back to question what it had taken

she did not wait for the tide’s return, met it with kindness

but turned her back on something

that was not brave enough to stay and touch her

she did not let the big world make her smaller

and so she grew, and grew, skin splitting

shedding the way autumn coats the ground with burnt honey

a calm surrender to the empty space of who she used to be

she outstretched the sky to make room for herself

suspended herself beneath something that would support her,

hold her when she trembled more than the rattling wind

and nothing appeared to change within the cocoon of her trying

but minds didn’t rest long enough to adjust to the making and remaking

as the cells that were made of her found their purpose

formed legs that would move her forward

formed eyes that would grasp the shards of dappled morning

formed wings that would carry her home

and with her heart in a flutter, she emerged

defiant against all the odds that told her not to be