2nd Place Summer Poetry Winner: In the Sway of Tides - Sandra Fox Murphy
Songs of the conch coax me to the sea—
the dogged roll of waves turquoise
and burnish beneath the indigo of night
awaiting to shine bright in morning sun.
The sea woos me with its low moans
like a bassoon in the kiss of a reed.
A neglected lover at times disappoints
but keeps returning, lapping
at my ankles and pulling me deeper.
The sea caresses my arms, entangles me
in seaweed as I struggle free to fresh air.
I give it all up to the sea, unbound
and bathed in seawater seeking the curve
of life brined and eddied where it finds
me weightless and willing, no different
than the sunfish and eels and kingfish.
But it is I, quickened in a gasp of air, kelp
twined in my hair, a wisp in the current
that loves the sway of tides where the sea
reels me ethereal, buoyed in deliverance.
Sandra Fox Murphy lives in central Texas, grew up on USAF bases across the globe, and is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. In her early years, she was inspired by the Beatnik poets and now writes historical fiction and poetry. She reads at local open mics and has been published in the Ocotillo Review, The Write Launch, Earth Song: A Nature Poems Experience, and Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus.