The young mermaid sits on the plaster rock,
singing some half-remebered song to herself.
There is a big, blue sky abover her bowed head,
full of yellow sun and white clouds and distant birds.
It is a painting on the aquarium ceiling, nothing more.
The young mermaid raises her head, still softly singing.
She dreams a real sky and sun and calling birds up high.
She dreams the warm sun on her aquamarine skin.
She dreams the steam rising of her long, flaxen hair.
It is dreams in her lonely head, nothing more.
She bows her head, to Neptune her father,
whose watery touch and salty kisses she’s never known,
and sings her Diana her mother, whose light has never
touched her skin, whose blessings she has never felt.
It is a songs solace in a living death, nothing more.