You have underestimated me.

It is quiet.

My lips mouth words that no longer need spoken,

and my body floats down this stream, stock-still,

the echoes of words unsaid remain inside.

A thread catches onto rocks, unspooling my gown, unspooling me.

A crown of flowers wraps itself neatly onto my skin,

around my neck, and into my hair.

This is not the end.

They are welcoming me in, paperwhite flowers rustle as I pass,

green stalks whistle in the wind that slowly pushes my form further downstream.

My hair tangles, a reminder that I am free now.

You have not won.

Though I am ever-changing, leaving this world to join another,

the fairies and spirits have open arms, as do the flora,

and they sing me victorious.

Vibrant jade and olive leaves, the color of envy, surround me in these last moments.

Soon my soul will join the ancestors and you will weep for what you have done.

As my body lets go of its form, embracing the change & flushing away my worldly fears,

this is only the beginning of your pain,

the depths of which you have yet to understand,

for I am reincarnate.

Just as I succumb to the pull of nature, so will you:

My name whispered in the wind, a willow, a nettle, a rose,

a remembrance of the way you left me.

This is not the end for you,

and me, your never-ending, never-ceasing siren,

A memory turned nightmare of what has been done.


“You have underestimated me.” is an ekphrastic poem based on the following artwork: Ophelia by John Everett Millais. Click here to link to the piece

Taylor Thomas was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She is the middle child of seven and never lets her family forget it. She has a Masters in Counseling Psychology and currently works as an Academic Advisor for Ivy Tech Community College and a therapist at the University of Notre Dame. In her free time, Taylor enjoys obsessing over Jane Austen and trying new foods with her partner, Herschel, and her dog, Bella.

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