[Image description: large wave crashing over a rocky, Maine shoreline]

At the mirror
brushing teeth,
thoughts crashing in waves,
transferring energy
one to the next,
swelling and rippling back,
until a single phrase surfaces:

You’ve always been this way.

Eyes search mirrored eyes,
walking tidelines
back to source.

Of course.

Of course.

Of course.

What seemed like newness
was a return.

The fire in belly and bone
over pain of another
inflicted by power,

The having to say
to voice dissent
even when voicing
brought swift
punishment from a wooden spoon,
or the rebuke of an elder,
or distance from friends.

Stifled, veneered,
yet never completely cowed.

‘You’ve always been this way’
until the waves still
and there is only
the calm
of truth
coming home.

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