The Day I Rescued a Merman
I found him washed up on the beach
slumped against the coastguard station.
His face was beautiful like the carving of a god,
his chest bronzed though streaked with salt.
I sat down beside him and gently stroked
his tail. It wasn’t slithery, but warm and dry,
the scales glittering like his sea glass eyes.
I took him home for a fish supper. We slouched
on the sofa, licking our fingers. I’d hoped for
tales of buried ship treasure, mermaids, whales,
but he didn’t speak, just smiled. I ran him a bath,
testing for sea chill with my elbow. He slid down
in the water, folded his tail over the side,
closed his eyes. I like to think he found pleasure
in the scented bubbles, in the love songs I crooned to him.
Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher. Her poetry has featured in many magazines including New Welsh Review, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Prole. Her latest collection My Grandmother Skating is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016. Jennie founded and runs NewBohemians@CharltonKings providing regular events of poetry, performance and music at deepspaceworks art centre. She lives in Cheltenham.