Friday, 7 June 2013

Night Swimming

Sunburn stung,
coarse sand met with tender skin and always made it worse,
rub on arm and busy palm the length and back across.

It wouldn't do - the aloe vera lotion she had bought. 

Would interfere when time to swim,
chemicals and human skin,
salt from sand once underwater helped with blending in.

And it was better underneath -
cool and clear and dark and deep,
night-time swimming far from shore and shingle laden beach.

And how she loved to dip -
push and dive and slowly sink,
colours of the ocean green and grey and salmon pink.

Rock and bed and wreck and weed,
crab and shoal and giant eel,
easy then in her command, once wet and cold and deep.

But not from here - high on beach,
hot and dry and hair tied neat,
nothing wet and nothing wild and ponytail to keep.

Slip from bed once late at night and walk the path unseen.

For secrets (often prone to leak) are easy hidden here,
furthest, farthest, far-flung point where gulls cry on the breeze,
out of season few at all leave home and hearth and tea.

Few outdoors and few to see...

A mermaid of the deep,
tossed and washed to land asleep,
woke with feet and legs and longing to be back at sea.

Night-time swimming off the shore,
man and babe but neither know,
arms and tail and silver scales and fin to flex once more.


  1. Sand on sunburn is very ouch. Oh to be a mermaid... have you read the little mermaid? It's really very sad.

    A very, very evocative story. X.

    1. I have - yes it is sad. Perhaps if I read it to my hubby he will let us ditch the woods for the beach... x


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