Mermaid by Stella Wulf


What a fine, strong line he spun me,
how he reeled me in with his masterly pitch,
and after the catch how he landed me,
foul-hooked and gasping. ‘A cold fish,’
he’d spat, though he held me close for all that,
a prize trophy, snarled in his keepnet.

But I was the one that got away,
and the sea like a doting mother,
gathered me into her lap, smothered me
in her salt cure, numbing my lungs,
transfusing my veins, lifting me,
light as ether, out of my cumbrous limbs.

How long I’ve gazed at the horizon,
waiting, breath bated for the billow
of sail, the cut and swell of prow,
only the moon and the tide can tell,
only the rocks can know, that time
is but a twitch in an infinite tale.

He is Hubris, as all of nature calls him,
he’ll come and when he does I’ll weight
the sky with lead, sing up a keeling gale,
spool out a maelstrom, cast a lashing squall,
and when he’s flailing in the throes,
the world crashing at his head.
I’ll wreck him with a smile.

Stella Wulf lives in South West France. Her work has appeared in The Screech Owl, Prolebooks, The Stare’s Nest and Message in a Bottle. In 2012 she won third place in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly poetry competition. She is currently studying towards an MA in Creative Writing with Lancaster University. She is also an artist and her work can be seen on her website:


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