Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Mermaid's Tale

It is not the sea
that turns inside her
but a poisonous clutch of eggs,
human roe from some disgraced tryst
with a Plymouth merchant man.

Her eyes are pale blue china,
small lunar dishes of pearl-coloured milk,
and her hair is flaming kelp.
But she's given up her throne now,
slipped her gills and tipped the scales.

At dusk, one evening,
she flies through the murk
to where the trawlers have been.
There on the scratched and jagged 
seabed, she unclips from her waist

an oyster, and leaves. Inside, the
brood grows cloudy and dies, empty 
as a dead fish's eye. She says, 
'What will become of me?' Her sea no more, 
queen and heir of a land-locked lie.

No comments:

Post a Comment