MD Kerr

The Little Mermaid

Playing with line-breaks

Text of the poem

It always seemed a secret
truth: drowning men
was part of her culture, surely
the storytellers knew about the sirens?

Calypso lobster, starfish bra, under
the froth was a lie
revealed: men will make you
happy, we were told

instead they want you
silent and hurting deprived
of that story, wed have no language
for losing our tails. Hashtag not
everyone loses
their tails but hashtag all
metaphors swell to fill the space we need.

Its not feminist
betrayal but critique:

if youre drowning
men with your sound, dont
stop and gingerly walk the broken glass: drowning men
is your birthright, waves
of sound come back to meet you: sing

louder and let them
learn to swim

or not.

Its just

Thanks to The Writers' Greenhouse for the prompt to play with line breaks using a fairytale.

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