Today's Inspiration & Writing Prompt

August 2, 2016

 MERMAIDS

by Maureen Buchanan Jones

 

The liquid air of cool refuge

from Floridean afternoons

lured customers and novice me

to three middle-aged goddesses.

 

We waited tables, balanced shrimp,

and dispensed drowned olives

in the corner establishment

at Fourth and Sunrise.

 

If I learned anything

from them, it was to be effortless,

floating sick daughters,

arrested husbands, or broken cars

 

on continuous breakwaters

of practical jokes, droll advice,

or key lime pie.  They were always

in motion, yet maintained

 

the languid atmosphere

celebrated no place better

than the disappearing distance

of that polished mahogany bar.

 

Precise and sure, their rhythm mocked 

my flurried orders and cautious gestures.

Soon I learned to breathe like them,

tell stories, fill their hands

 

with a specialty of coconut and figs,

pick up shifts to stay 

in their safe, subaqueous allure.

They showed me hairdos, arthritis, 

 

new bills, and secret loves;

I showed them novels, daydreams,

my daughter's grades--all eddying

through time clocks and orders paid.

 

On the strength of their arms

which delivered hot fish and gin,

they buoyed me to a surface

breaking towards home.

 

WRITING PROMPT:

Think about a meaningful experience you have had during a summer, then write about the experience using ocean metaphors.

 

 


 

 

 

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2016 by Julie Mariouw