February 2, 2023

Parapraxis

Writer's Showcase

‘The Selkie’

2 min read
Long after he wandered his lonely shore, the memory of her his only grace, mourning his lost love, now never more.

Selkie, by Carolyn Emerick. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When Duncan cut a seal with his knife

out sprang a girl that he took for a wife,

and though they lived he thought happily

he often caught her looking – out to sea.

 

Time passed and she was with his child,

so, he kept her secure under lock and key

less she returned back again to the wild,

but still she kept on looking – out to sea.

 

When her time came she was not to be found,

for she had heard the seal-people calling.

He followed her footprints down to the sound,

where he stood searching – far out to sea.

 

There he saw a group of seals gathered

around a young female with her pup,

who before leaving turned to look

back at him – fully in his face.

 

Long after he wandered his lonely shore,

the memory of her his only grace,

mourning his lost love, now never more,

while his pride kept him –  in that place.

 

Until years later now old and frail,

his gaze went out to where he thought

she had returned coming – back to him;

so, he stripped – and set out to swim.

 

           © D G Moody 2022

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5 thoughts on “‘The Selkie’

  1. This reminds me of a book I once read. In the end the mermaid will always be drawn back to the sea – it is the only ending that would allow the story to be creditable. You’ve told the tale well, Dougie. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment Allen. I think the Selkie also deals with a deep current of dominance that could occur where the female is in subjection to the male. I find it to be an uneasy window into the isolated life.

      Dougie

  2. Really nicely framed and told, it is just a heartbreaking phase when one has to go through such things but once someone is past that, it is just better and I hope swimming would help a little and give him some fun.

  3. Thanks Mike. Re the ending, it was in fact his own end: how he would choose to die. I’ve left it obscure, whether he did see her returning or was it simply a seal that he mistook for her.

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