The Mermaids

Salt seasons the summer breeze,
spices up the odors of seaside
roses and forsythias.
Gulls arc out over the water with ease,
proclaiming their lonely cry —
a prayer for the ages.
Waves hit the rocky shore
slapping and sucking at the piers.
Buoys toll out across the water,
marking the frame for a door.
A portal is forming as the time nears;
the world waits for the daughters.
Every year about this time
they walk along the railroad tracks
that run by the edge of Bellingham Bay.
Their flashing hair a kind of sign
like so many nautical flags
on the arrival of Opening Day.
Eyes echoing the lights and colors
of the sea before them, they sing.
These are the daughters of Nereus and Doris,
drinking the holy communion of their order.
Perched on the rocks by the water ringed.
Their voices joined in chorus.
They sing their sad songs.
They sing their love songs.
They sing their sailors home from the sea.
The sailboats skim along.
Fishing boats chug through the sound.
A vision of toys all shiny.
The mermaids sit on the rocks and sing.
Balanced in the crux of creation and destruction.
These daughters of Nereus and Doris and Sea
along the railroad tracks are walking.
Hearts and souls in contemplation
Of the lives for which they plead.

[Rachel Olivier is a writer and copy editor and proofreader. Her poetry and fiction may be found in various places, including Everyday Weirdness, Daily Love, Aoife’s Kiss, Electric Velocipede and Bewildering Stories. You may also check out some of her work (or hire her for copy editing/proofreading jobs) at her site.]


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