Mermaid’s Fate

for a contest at

inspired by the painting La Vague by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

the daughter of
the mer king fair
one summer morning
took the air
and chance would
cause the finest lad
to take a ride
upon the sand
and taken by his gentle
ways she sang her song
of love to rocks
and birds and waves
and pitied by the seaweed
witch who worked a spell
to grant her wish
to walk upon the land
as fish would swim
but with a price each
step would feel like
sharpest knives and
given just a cruel three days
to make the prince turn
to her face
with eyes of love
to seal the spell
she crawled upon the
land to dwell in
kingdom’s thrall but
cruel as luck would
twist her days the
prince made haste to
war and missed the
chance to meet and
feet gave way to fins
in time no longer sea
but neither land
she held her head up
high and waited
to be taken by her fate
regretting not her loving
choice she raised her voice
in final song to fish and
waves and birds and sound
becoming one with
rocky ground