Folktober Challenge, Day 13

Image, 1.13, Selkies, Faroese Stamp


She shed her skin,
to walk on sand.

He took the skin,
then took her hand.

She bore him children,
but could not withstand

the call of sea,
the waves’ command

to find her skin,
to leave the land—

and then one night, she found it,
my mother walked across the strand,

abandoned us and father’s plans
for true heart’s call, left cold northland.

Now in every seal we see her,
her eyes set in sleek selkie fur

My heart seemed without a beat
like a frozen drum

yet now it stirs and feels complete
as the sea-wind whispers, “come.”

Paul Brookes is hosting a month-long ekphrastic challenge using folklore images to celebrate the launch of his new poetry collection, “As Folktaleteller.” You can see the images here and also read the other responses.

23 thoughts on “Folktober Challenge, Day 13

  1. Excellent, Merril. I adore the simple pace. It feels folklorish.
    I looked up Selkie. You have captured the mythical creature very well, and more. You captured true nature.

  2. Oh, lovely! I didn’t do much reading yesterday and missed this. I love the rhythm of those opening stanzas. We only ever hear about the women Selkies, don’t we? How wicked they were to abandon their children. But there were men Selkies too who were captured. The moral of their story isn’t so obvious though.

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