How a Mermaid Knows Her Own Mind by Claire Walker

How a Mermaid Knows Her Own Mind
(After the Polish folk tale The Mermaid of Warsaw)

You thought you could take me;
net my scales, row my skin to shore;
thought you could make me a gift to a prince,
dull me to a fish on a platter.

Mermaids bloom in full moons.
Look at my eyes: I have the sea’s colour
in me- all its reckless tides
and licking waves.

Don’t be fooled by my tail –
my body curves as a woman.
Its silver song plays out my wishes,
casts the pitch of the spell.

I know you catch the notes in your ears,
no lime can mask your scent.
See how the waves signal you? Come,
wouldn’t you like to jump?


Claire Walker‘s poetry has appeared in various print and online magazines including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat and Tears, And Other Poems, Snakeskin and Kumquat Poetry. In June 2014 she was runner up in the 2014/2015 Worcestershire Poet Laureate Competition.


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