We found her in our nets exhausted,
lifeless amongst wriggling fish,
and marvelled at her pale beauty.
Some joker said he’d screw her anytime
if he could figure out a way,
and the ship’s boy touched her tail
and jumped back startled when she stirred,
and we burst into laughter — nervous laughter
as she turned to face us.
But she smiled,
glittering sea-drops in her hair,
sunlight on her scales and flesh,
and dazzled us with her smile.
Published in Poetry Monash no. 35 (1992), p. 12.