Friday, 8 March 2019

Mermaid
It was the change in her hair she noticed first
growing now like harsh thin weed
but attached
firmly
attached
and inedible.
She tugged at it
but the pain was too great
to separate it from her head.
And then her scales
began to disappear
her beautiful shiny scales
washed away with her gills.
Her brothers and sisters
and the rest of the school
swam around her still
but she couldn’t hear them,
couldn’t understand
what they were saying.
The art of communication
had been lost
washed away
with her gills.
What was she now?
Neither fish nor fowl.
Fowl,
where did that come from?
She ran her fingers over her skin,
still smooth
unfeathered
up to now.
She waited
waited to see what would emerge.
Then the next wave came
and carried her
to the beach
so she crawled along
the sharp sand
uncomfortably
on her swollen belly
until she found a rock
and clambered up
then slithered down
algaed slime
into a recess
a safe cave
a haven
with a shallow pool
left by the tide,
a birthing pool
she thought
and she knew
that the next tide
would bring her sustenance
while she waited to see
what would emerge.
ODDBALLMAGAZINE.COM
Photography by Joe Linker.

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