She was as dainty as the fish

Flitting through my stone cold fingers

When I dipped them in the fishbowl

And waggled them around.

She was as pretty as the colours

That glistened through the sun tanned sky

After the rain had poured all day

And made the children cry.

Her lips were coral, deepest red,

Her eyes were turquoise, coloured lead,

Her skin was marble, human bone,

Her tail was crushing black

While her tresses hung, soft sea blue.

Her voice was not a voice but river

Calling all that heard it to drown-

Lovers’ tears her splendid crown.

There were not many that saw her and lived,

Only to melt in her queenly woe,

And surrender life to her feet,

And tears to growing crown.

I saw her too one fine sea day-

The spray of salt and sea her knights.

She sang to me that I may cry,

And fall into her arms.

She did not know I never feel

She was sure in her sure success

I threw a net and caught the maid

And put her in a tank.

She waited there, some nights, some days

Crying songs that I let her go

I looked at the cage that held her

And waited on the floor.

It took some time for her to die-

Starved of food and her lovers’ tears,

Of everything she had lived on

Had I robbed her of.

I watched her die her slow, slow death

And threw her body in the sea.

She dissolved in her watery grave

And once more was the sea.

Once more was the sea that raised her

Once more was the sea

That mourned the slow death of the maid

That tried to enamour me.

And once more was the living sea

Once more was the sea

That should have warned her fair, gone maid

That I’m too dead to free

By death.