The Mermaid Poem

I am reminded to keep awake
by the squawk of seagulls—or
maybe they are children—
I have never been good at telling them
The rising tide knows how
to break with your breath and
listen to the inhale of
gunmetal glitter and mud.
Its waxing and waning has
left sparkling stretch-marks
beneath my feet and I decide
I’d rather my thighs resemble the
ocean than those of another woman,
and that the moles my mother gave
me are the same as the Pemaquid
pebbles, treasure beneath my toes.
Knee deep, the current calls me
closer until I have given Her half
and She asks, worried, where I’ve been,
and all I can do is surrender
and sing to Her my whale song,
“Mama, I’m home.”

By Claire Pruett