Poem introduction

This poem is about all the things you can do if you have legs.

Mermaid's Lament

I’ve had enough of perching on rocks
stinking of fish, waiting for sailors
to pass by and fall in love.
 
I want to swim away to shore,
stand up on my own two feet and walk
tall across dry land.
 
I want to go disco dancing with my mates,
look great in my high-heeled stilettos
and tight blue jeans.
 
I want to pedal hard up a steep hill,
then legs outstretched, freewheel down
just for the fun of it.
 
I want to be a striker, take a penalty
and score the golden goal, perform cartwheels
to a roaring crowd.
 
Or simply lounge on the beach in a twin-set bikini,
paint my toenails, and watch the fishermen
emptying out their nets.

from The Language of Cat and Other Poems (Frances Lincoln, 2011), © Rachel Rooney 2011, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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Rachel Rooney

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