• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 04
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We were looking for seals
the guide book told us we’d find them here
and we’d seen them in the spring…
guarding their pups, staring us out
with baleful looks and cautious frowns;
we hadn’t expected to see the walrus
who’s been stopping off all round the
coast: Wally, what an unimaginative name
I’d have named him Russell much more droll.

We’d never expected to see a mermaid
or a selkie on the shore, but we knew her
when we saw her, knew her by her hair
gold like the sunset, radiating mystery;
we watched her search the flotsam
strewn across the beach, around her feet
searching for her skin, for her seal form.
When she leant to take it up, we knew;
she shed the ugly Mac, kicked off her boots,
transformed before our unbelieving eyes,
seal woman, paddling to the waves,
lifted with the swell of the tide and gone…