Selkie

She slipped off her true self,
easy as a winter shawl,
went to him woman-naked

for the wanting of
his green eyes,
his clever hands.

He cherished her,
loving the dance
in all her movements,
and her sudden laughter.

The years passed, gentle
as a summer ocean.

He brought the sea home for her:
a smear of silver scales
on a black knife blade,
the wild smell on his clothes,

she loved the taste of him.

The years rolled, powerful
as a winter ocean.

She wondered who she was.
Those memories, of
ocean dancing – were they just a dream?

Some people dream of flying.

Earth became her element –
the four walls of the house,
the warm dough stretching in her hands,
peas to be podded, apples peeled.

The years roared, dangerous
as a storm-tossed sea:

the years took him, in the end,
dragged him down to the dark depths,
filled up his lungs
with months, weeks, days,
stuffed his mouth with time.

After they’d buried him,
she took the bundle down,
smoothed the soft skin
with her rough hands.

She went back to the ocean,
rocks painful on her
twisted feet. Said her farewells.
Slipped on the sealskin –
easy as a winter shawl –
let the waves take her

dancing again.

Bjorn asks us for narrative verse – a poem that tells a story. TheĀ dVerse bar is open for business!