“Daughter,” said my father,
“You will never leave these shores!”
He meant well, I know,
but in my mind I have already left.
Even now I watch him, a small cloaked figure
receding on the shoreline,
receding in the distance.
Even now, my pen draws out my coming voyage,
leaving a stark white wake
escorted by the screech of gulls
and the writhing coils of sea monsters,
and others must follow if they dare.
I stand upon the deck of my imaginings,
bracing myself against the squalls,
against the swell of green water,
against the wave-tossed billows,
against the unknown deeps
that are my surrounding charts.
My pen creates islands, whole continents,
archipelagos and inlets, which only exist
because I have drawn them.
My outstretched hands
span trackless oceans of parchment,
at last to sight a distant undiscovered shore.
Already I have made landfall,
already I am on that shore.
Even now, without leaving my study
I set out to discover this new and unknown land
which is myself.
Painting by Donato Giancola