My Sister the Mermaid – Sarah Wallis

                               My Sister the Mermaid

A troca shell is a cone shaped marvel, once 
a mermaid’s purse, this shell of other life, a silenced 
flute or lyre, has been a companion piece of mine 
since I was four, a sometime shiny dragon’s tooth, 
or trader’s quill, a sea urchin’s diving gear, drilling 
treasures from the rock and coral of another time, 
now lies in dust, cracked, faded featureless on one 
bookshelf or another, time passed, tales we told 
ourselves things would get better, hurt less, a souvenir 
of ocean tears, the disappearance of a sister half 
explained, in this shell she was a mermaid, to flip 
a fluke, a coin, her silver tail, be done with this world, 
placed safe inside the silent bell, until one day a want
of water and tale to spill, shattered peace of pearly shell. 

Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Scotland, UK. In the last year work has appeared at Trampset, Lunate, Abridged and Finished Creatures, with recent work at Coffin Bell and One Art. A chapbook, Medusa Retold, is available from @fly_press and she tweets @wordweave.

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