SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Whanaungatanga by Rebecca Beardsall

Pull my bones from the pebble shores of Lancashire.


Plait my hair with flecks of auburn from the grasses of Donegal.


Push my muscular frame from the Rhine


onto the ringing rocks of Pennsylvania. My


feet sink into black sand; Tasman Sea


leaves a layer of salt on my knees. Face of


freckles emerge like southern hemisphere stars. Layers


of lands live inside me, and I search like a Saturniidae moth


ancestral spirit returning. Sepia spirals


mark my wings with amber, burnt umber.


Warm spring rain sinks into paddock soil


submerges and expels into North Sea, Atlantic, Delaware,


Irish Sea, Pacific, Rhine, Schuykill, Tasman Sea.


Lines of lineage—currents and undercurrents


surface in my eyes, shape of my nose, space of my teeth.


Confirm and baptize me into my new, renewed – marriage merges –



I stand on these Pacific shores, not the shores of my ancestors.


Tell me I am home.

Rebecca Beardsall is the Senior Director of Marketing, Publishing, and Conferences for Extended Education at Western Washington University. She graduated with a BA in English from DeSales University and received her MA in English from Lehigh University. Rebecca is an MFA candidate at WWU. She has more than twenty years’ experience in freelance writing in the United States and abroad. She wrote and co-edited three books, including Philadelphia Reflections: Stories from the Delaware to the Schuylkill.

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