In the end it was easy
to steal her skin,
even in the full moonlight.

I was surprised how heavy it was,
and how weightless she looked without it,
those years ago, dancing on the Cleggan sand.

The day she found it again
I was on the boat with Finn,
having tea, just setting out.

The kettle boiled over
and steam burned my hand, red
around the wedding band.

Finn, usually so quiet, said,
‘Just like you, Daire,
thinkin water’ll allus be right!’

I turned with a quick word
and climbed up the headland
above the bay just past the house,

called to her, too far along the path
to catch / I was going to say
something about the boys — what of them?

But the sea already possessed
her hair, dancing, taunting,
and when she looked over

she was no longer their mam.
There was no more love and defeat
in that obsidian eye.

What was the point?
And anyhow, I am a fisherman:
I know knots and cleats and nets — full nets.

I do not know how to keep
a wild thing free.

One thought on “Selkie

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