Stone Telling

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by S. Brackett Robertson

There was a mermaid
in my bathtub.
She said the river led her here.
She wouldn't leave for months
kept swimming laps,
made friends with my rubber duck.

I didn't shower for fear of drowning her,
but she said she wouldn't mind.
It is like rain,
she says, swims at tub-end where the water doesn't fall.
She's only a foot tall.

Soon my tub housed two, her girlfriend
moved in from the beach, trailing sand and seaweed.
It was unusual, they said, for a freshwater mermaid
and a seawater mermaid to date, but my tub was neutral ground.

I couldn't fit in the bath the next day.
Five of their friends had moved in
they planted seaweed at the bottom.
Now I bathe in the ocean instead,
bring back sand and shells for my swimming friends
and make a home in the bath.

S. Brackett Robertson is often found up a tree. Her work has previously appeared in Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, and inkscrawl. She frequents museums and would like to visit more ancient cities.

Photography: adapted from an unpublished photograph by Nathaniel Justin Smith. Used with permission.