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Hilltop: A Literary Paper. Volume 1 Number 1

The Story of a Mermaid

The Story of a Mermaid

Upon a beach when neither moon
Nor cloud controlled the night
But stars stared coldly down to where
The dark sea broke in light
There was born of sea and sand
A mermaid, fish and girl combined.

When her deep seawater eyes
In wonder opened, things she knew
By ocean sound and sight revealed
That half of her that lived below
In long sea-caverns where she'd plunge
And where her joy would never change.

She saw her body, luminous,
Slip through the clean green tide;
She saw herself break through the waves
Her hair like foam spread wide;
While all the elements endowed
The singing in her blood.

She, half in water, tried to dance.
Her graceful arms and fin
Could not discover endless depths
But sharp cold stones her limbs
Cut angrily and tore them till
Her death took anguish from her fall.

There, when the day was breaking
And the sea fell back, she lay
Static on sand, as fish no longer swam,
As girl no longer made the ripples stay
And run across her light green lovely form.
She came no more to happiness or harm.

If she is dead now, if her eyes
Are full of sand, her waste
Make the beach green that the sea left bare,
Oh men who pass, not pity but caress
Those dull white tones, her body, which remain
Passive amid her sea-blood's vivid stain.