A long-legged woman stands at the bow of her boat,
face warmed by rising sun. Silver streaks glint in her
light brown hair, sunbeams dance in the morning glow.
Nimble as a dancer she slips over the side,
rising and falling in undulating waves,
she sinks into her kayak.
With a mermaid’s grace she paddles toward the
white sand beach, frosted thick with pink and purple
seashells that stretches to the brink of the world.
She listens to the shells, so deep they tinkle like
a thousand wind chimes with each retreating wave.
the beach all day
filling a hand woven bag
with bountiful gifts from the sea,
until afternoon’s slanted light warns
soon the setting sun will stoke world’s
edge in a brilliant backdrop of fiery color.
The woman catches the first wave,
the smallest in a cycle of seven,
and smoothly paddles the kayak
toward her anchored sailboat home.
She spreads pink and purple shells
across the bow, admires each shape and hue,
then picks just one, that calls her name,
and slips the others gently over the side
returning them to the sea.
The woman has everything she needs;
and she knows what
she needs is
Written 2006 for my life-long mermaid friend, Janet who has taught so much about living. ~ N L Harless