Kayla Shields


I never could trust my gut.
It twisted and churned,
like the brewing storm offshore.
I stared at the edge of the water in awe
but would never know what to feel.
I picked up a piece of seaglass
And would see myself.

The house was on the older side,
worn from the salty air.
It was bruised with tarnished siding
And peeled back gray paint,
giving it that weathered look.
The same salty air made my hair curl back
To its natural waves mixed with summer blonde highlights.
I never liked my natural hair.
I looked at posts on Pinterest of girls
that had bodies like models and flawless skin.
The it girls.

The remnants of a board game called Blockopoly
scattered the dining room table.
My brother and I would constantly argue about the game pieces,
About who would get the car or the dog,
Depending on the day.
We threw money at each other when we didn’t get our way.
Sometimes we did it just for attention.
I always just wanted to win though.
I regret letting my ego take over
For the littlest of feats.

The deer that were occasionally seen on the small island
would hide in the fields,
surrounded by walls of stone
and tiny wooden gates.
You would always see them at golden hour,
with their wide eyes,
innocence, and lively nature.
It was all I ever wanted to be.
Just to feel something.

The curvature of that island spiraled to my heart.
I was back on the beach.
Feet in the sand,
where the waves occasionally crashed
upon my little toes.
The seaglass.
How the water churns
and moves to create something
out of nothing.
Something that was once menacing
to the beauty of the island
was now the beauty of its own story.

The Girl Who Never Thought She Could

The royal blue gleam,
dazzling like the stars
on the oceanfront.
The white caps of the sea
and the levitating curls
of the tides guided her home.
A home that tastes
of salty water,
where the grits of sand crunch
between your teeth.

At daybreak the
waves crashed and she was
fully present.
Her present being a gift
from the Greek gods above.
Her beauty and love from
Aphrodite herself.
Maybe she was just a
reincarnation of her.
Just a little sprite
whimsically flying across
the shore of the ocean,
radiating the blue aura around.

She was a sapphire
that floated through space.
Her hands unclenched
from a fist,
letting the sand and water
flow from grasp.

She joined the gulls
on the oceanfront
and leapt to her fate,
even though her odds
were never quite in her favor.
Her mind was always her own.

When I Watch You, I Fall In Love

I see you standing there.

A sorrow gaze,
but a lifted chin.

Under the layer of complexity
is a kind soul.

Gentle, like the slight
breeze of the ocean

signaling the lighthouse
on the jagged shoreline.

An actor playing the part
of the wishful thinker.

The beam of light in your shallow
eyes, hazel, a glimpse of fall

before the leaves rain.
Mixed emotions.

Your sweatshirt,
the essence of home.

You traverse through
the mangled wood kitchen

like a ragged dog,
concocting creations

like Gordon Ramsey on his
bad days.

I’d say you make your presence
clear when you state

your fictitious opinions
on meaningless matters.

My laugh in spite of it.
Just like a fool that hopped on

the bandwagon to think
that wearing boxers

over thermal pants is
a fashion statement.

You’re the idealistic man,
like all the ones before

but just a little less serious.
A blank expression at times.

A sour patch kid.
Sour, sweet, gone.

Kayla Shields is a college student at Westfield State University studying Business with a marketing concentration with a writing minor. She is a passionate artist who uses her time creatively through poetry and photography. She works for Fort Hill Brewery as a marketing intern while simultaneously picking up photography gigs in her free time.