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Lover’s Quarrel

The Selkie and the Mermaid

 

Charles Suddeth

 

Salmon-breath, cried the Mermaid,

You never quit barking.

Seaweed eater, cried the Selkie,

You stink of stale tuna.

 

Make up your mind, said the Mermaid,

Be either a man or a seal.

You’ll never change, said the Selkie,

Half of you forever fish.

 

I enjoy being me, the Mermaid replied,

I can swim or hold a man tight.

I don’t care to change, the Selkie snapped,

Sometimes I want to splash like a seal.

 

I swim in schools, bragged the Mermaid.

They make you perform in shows.

Look out for hooks, warned the Selkie,

The circus feeds me cod and mackerel.

 

But men weary of me. The Mermaid sighed,

I can never go home with them.

Ladies laugh at me, the Selkie admitted,

They think seals are slippery and silly.

 

Do you suppose? Asked the Mermaid

She licked her salty lips.

And just why not? replied the Selkie.

He kissed her. She kissed back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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