“Mignon,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869, WikiArt.

Where have I been? With sickness, many
Have died, remaining disappeared. Days of
Rain, dreams beyond reach, island life was
Cloud-obscured. Fevered coughs, I drifted
As rain dripped, streaked windowpanes,
Time stilled, awareness sleep suspended.
Breath shallow, I neared death, reassuring
Boatmen beckoned, another lifetime without
Weight upon my chest. “Let your soul lead
The way.” “No, I love my island family,”
I countered. “I want to be me, Willow.”

Within my chest, foaming seas crashed.
“Are we on foreshores?” I whispered. “Yes
And no,” mother replied. “We prayed for your
Coming-home breaths.” I nodded, for I beheld
(Always will remember) path rising upward
Into sun-bright clouds. Knowing this, I will
Never be lost or alone, for it lingers amongst
Hilltop misty clouds. Legends recalled, ancient
Celts recognized realms heavenward, eternal
Boatmen cloud-oaring, watched over Hebridean
Island folk, then and now.

Thanks for reading.

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