• Georgia Garfield-White

The Seal-Bride


 

“Once a Selkie finds its skin again, neither chains of steel nor chains of love can keep her from the sea.”


― by John Lynch

 

The man I do not love is softly snoring,

Children I did not want are tucked away,

Tomorrow they will wake to bitter mourning –

But I will not be there to sooth or stay.


The fur beneath my hands is slowly warming,

The song that once was mine begins to sing,

Tomorrow he will wake in bitter mourning –

But his love was always quite a selfish thing.


The skin upon my skin still fits like water,

Silk-soft against my calloused, sun-worn hands.

If not for my sweet and naïve daughter

I would still be trapped upon his lands.


Beneath their father’s smile my sons grew bolder,

As our daughter withered from his harsh disdain,

But tomorrow he will wake to bitter mourning

And empty pillows where his wife was lain.


Wet sand upon bare feet and salt-stained kisses,

The night we married here upon the sand.

He put his ring upon my human finger,

As though I chose to live upon the land.


My sisters weave and bob within the shallows,

My love is waiting far beyond this shore.

Tomorrow’s sun will rise a brighter morning

And what was stolen shall be kept no more.


My sons will grow into their father’s shadow,

My daughter may yet find her own seal-fur,

My husband may yet wed himself another,

Though I would never wish his love on her.


The silence of the evening starts to shiver,

As early cracks of dawn begin to break,

Within my house my husband’s breath may quicken

But I will not be here to see him wake.


The skin beneath my hands is quick to change me

I slip as silver back into my home;

returning to the sea that loved and made me –

My husband wakes to find himself alone.


Insp. Legends of the Selkie Wife












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