“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.