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Written by Sharmagne Leland-St John

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 I swim near summer shadows
glide over dappled shoals
keeping to the fluid shallows
reminiscent of the womb 
where I learned to swallow 
of tantalising air

in the amniotic sac
where I shed scales 
preferring skin and 
hanks of auburn hair
upon my head
where I dispensed 
with fins and gills
grew hands and feet
with which to tread
and push away 
from muddy banks

I've no desire to wallow 
in the rushes

no human need

the thin sharp reeds 
knot and tangle
cut and pierce 
my derma layer

I can dance 
below the surface
upon the rocky sand
I shall dangle near
the river bottom
suspended, floating free
like the embryo 
I used to be.

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