Friday, July 25, 2014

The Silkie

The Sea Wife is the Wind (M.A. Reilly. Deerfield Beach, FL. 2010)
The Silkie

    -   Barbra Nightingale

They thought she was dead,
at best deranged.
The way she undulated
through water, the colder
the better, how she stayed
down so long they thought
she’d drowned, the algae
in her hair, long floating strands
like a flag waving in wind.

They thought what she spoke
wasn’t language, some strange
twisted tongue from a country
they couldn’t pronounce.
But they were wrong, the color
and syntax too layered.
There was much they didn’t know.
Everyone gathered to stare,
to watch as swollen with words
she was pulled from the cove
to deep water, to steep, pebbled bank,
then left to her solitude,
begging for what they never understood.
The sleek feel of fur in her mouth,
the thick shine coating her tongue,
her long deep vowels coupled
with the softest of thuds,
come all this way to journey back home.

Published in The International Literary Quarterly. Issue 13. November 2010.

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