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The mermaid


Auburn hair in emerald light,
The wavelets crash the shore.
Her pensive eyes peruse the bay,
How robust their rapport.

Her days spent dancing in the deep
With octopi for kin.
These pale gold sands her chance to sleep
And sun translucent skin.

The startling cliffs of chalk-white stone,
The aqua water’s gleam.
A flock of gulls in unison,
Mauve violets’ dulcet dreams.

A pelican, her oldest friend
He paddles back and forth.
A method to his madness though,
He scans the south and north.

Her breathing even as she rests,
Her smooth metallic tail.
A loosely woven cloak of reeds,
Her lovely form to veil.

Yet sits a cottage far above
With battered beams of oak.
The evidence of watchful orbs
A curlicue of smoke.

His easel placed on threadbare rug,
Smudged palette of his paints.
No visitors allowed to pass,
Euphoria to taint.

A tiny shell within her hand,
She clasps its coiling shape.
A present from an unknown source,
T’was on her makeshift cape.

Her name, he wonders what it is,
His lady of the sea.
Protector and purveyor he,
She is his fantasy.


By Sophie Chenoweth (2017)

Illustration by Natalie Betts (2017)

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