The Mermaid


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.

Pavlos Andronikos

Published in Poetry Monash no. 35 (1992), p. 12.