Monday, 3 September 2012

Selkie by Lori Lamothe

“The most common theme in selkie folklore, however, is one in which a cunning young man acquires, either by trickery or theft, a selkie-girl’s sealskin.”

For years, you wore ordinary as a housecoat.
Typed memos by day and made weak

martinis by night. For years, you were the one
they could count on to sweep all the unsaid things

under the rug. Sometimes you’re oblivious to blue.
Sometimes a shadow caught in a pool of light

makes you want to scratch off your skin,
dissolve in tides of wind that swing out and across

the street’s moonlit lawns.  Now, with your life
half gone, your child of amber eyes and ruby shoes

hands you what was nailed to the bottom
of a long-lost trunk. For six nights

you sleep on shore, cocooned in love’s sheer
blanket. On the seventh you slip an arm

into fur that still glows like coals, feel
how this shell of warmth still holds

an echo of water’s deep lullaby.
As you dive into a tango of stars, you turn

and watch her hand moving in adagio,
perfectly timed to the story you always told.


Crafty Green Poet said...

Lori Lamothe's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Avatar Review, Goblin Fruit, Fogged Clarity and The Nervous Breakdown. Her blog, Diary in Irregular Ink, can be found at

Christie said...

That first line is a bullet wound.