Poetry: 'Mermaid-in-waiting' by Dr Charley Barnes

With thanks to Claire

The cliff face causes shade here
and there, indents in the land for the fair-skinned
to hide in.

I rest on a smoothed rock
and comb my windswept hair, winding
tendrils that could be roots – or seaweed.

The gulls whistle overhead and the waves
growl their response,
as though in a long-standing feud.

I remove my rings and sparkle, set it
down next to me to catch the sun –
to lure the next one in waiting,

and I ask for the sea to take me.


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