|THE LITTLE MERMAID
On littered beaches where I lay
At rise of tide, at fall of day,
I saw the living stars' distress,
And wept to watch their helplessness.
I thought to leave the open sea
To those more open and less free:
And so I cut through fin and spine,
For both the harp and sword are mine.
I shuffled off my scaly sheath
And hobbled down to kick the teeth
Of muddy waves that gulped the shore,
Never to feel them any more.
I sought steep things, and thought these things
Must lead to higher, deeper things
If I could leave the sand to find
A fortress of another kind.
My lips were salt, I could not speak;
My legs were stone, yet I could seek
Some citadel where love would spare
One silent spirit of the air.
With track of blood, and still in pain,
I found a white and purple plain
Of flowers, bright as shells and foam,
And limped towards my mountain home.
The sun whirled like a hammer-wheel
That spun in search of anvil steel;
And looking North, I saw a Crown
Where blades of light came singing down.
No wave had ever reached as high
As cliffs that breached the azure sky;
And though I shivered, weak and small,
I did not feel afraid at all.
The mountains parted regally
Above the diamond clarity
Of water, where a stony ford
Made music for the secret fjord.
And there, upon the silver sand
I found a leaf that fit my hand:
Fresh emerald touched with fire-glow
That spoke of storms and endless snow.
Through dreaming eyes, I watched the lake,
But something startled me awake
Within that far and lonely wild:
The warbling laughter of a child,
And then another, as they came
Towards me, calling out my name,
And took my hands, and tugged my hair,
And led me to a meadow, where
The hammered gold spilled off the sun
Like joy, to crown each little one
Who shelters where my hands entwine
A harp and sword forever mine.
|© 2007 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or used in any way without written permission from the author.|