It was the change in her hair she noticed first

growing now like harsh thin weed

but 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.


where did that come from?

She ran her fingers over her skin,

still smooth


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


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.


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