Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Once You Were a Mermaid


by Rachael Z. Ikins 

Now it is your hand in mine,
fingers a clutch of frail feathers.
Not much left but spines.
Autumn apples, asters' powder sweetens
evening's breeze. The last crickets, those that survive
frost in crevices chant their monotone ever
reminiscent of sleigh bells. Skies open,
a coverlet turned inside-out, satin, silk, 
coral, a gray soft as ashes.
Then, heavy. Then the rains.

Rains lift you, carry you to the sand, leave you on ocean's porch.
You,  little more than a sodden bird within reach
of wavelets' chuckle. Private conversations water
holds among all its selves. I hear it in your paintings: waterfalls,
pool, ocean, a glacial lake. Moon slices sky silks,
shivers a path upon the water. I release your fingers.
Your luminous eyes glow in the dark.

" Go on..." I whisper, urging you while water smacks,
its lips, silvers your old, old bones. My palms, clams.

I scrub my eyes, salt-itches, sea-scent confuses me,
your feet, frail fins, your legs to tail. At the moment 
when the water and fear have risen high in both
our hearts, you realize, once,
so long ago you can't remember, 
you were a mermaid, and I, your water baby.
Water closes over your head. Your gills blossom.
Phosphorescence trails your passage.
Everyone knows you can 't cling to a mermaid,
just for a moment, then you feel her slip into the sea. 

"Rachael Ikin's debut novel, " The Complete Tales from the Edge of the Woods" (Icarus Aloft) 2013 has been nominated for a CNY Book Award through the Downtown Writers Center division of the YMCA programs for the arts in Syracuse, NY. Her novel is also in the running on Goodreads in the category, " Fantasy." Rachael's poetry & artwork juried into The Tech Garden December exhibit, " Trees" Awards at reception. Nov 21. Her new chapbook God Considered the Horizon releases this month from Finishing Line Press. She is going with FLP to Ireland to a Writers Abroad conference in Lismore Castle, Ireland where she will not only study but also read from her collected works. Like to know more about Rachael and her work/ or perhaps have a signed copy of one of her books? Go to or find her on FaceBook."

"Ask the Girl Arts....because girls can do anything!"

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