Of course the Disney version was problematic,
that a girl gives up her voice to get a man
to love her, that speech could be caught
in a shell glowing in the throat’s hollow,
or that in the original her sisters shorn their hair—
why would any set of sisters be so generous—
to free her and she returns to them as sea foam,
but not that I could recall the sea witch’s lines
into adult life, I’m not asking much, just a token,
and, Life’s full of touch choices, isn’t it?
Inside that jagged mouth cave that sister sea creature
worked—wide dark hips, roused lips—trading souls
for a new life by charm. Who wouldn’t want to
sign their name on her scroll and give her
whatever it was she wanted that day—
and you with no one else to turn to—
because for a moment she would hold you
in her pale, fiery gaze, promising another chance.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 1.