She would rather I be an incarnation, a flower
on a grave. She made my slumber rough with
sand until I swept it out of my bed.

When I was small, I brought all the worms
and the flies
and the bees
out of the water with the last bit of life
they had left.
For the ones who didn’t survive,
I gave proper burial with mermaid songs.

She never told me that mermaids cannot sing,
and she never picked up
a stick to
dig a grave with me

because I am not re-used bones
and skin
and life.

17 thoughts on “Incarnation

  1. I know I don’t always say much Maggie, but I really like this poem. It reminds me of my childhood when my cousin and I used to hang out together. We grew up in a small town in Farmington, NM and we would go for walks down to this park. Whenever we would find a dead bird we would give it a proper burial with all the solemnity that 2 small children could muster. I’m not sure why we did this or where we even got the idea that it was the “thing” to do. We were very young, maybe 5 or 6 at the time. My memories of being with my cousin Dodi are some of my best. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    • That means a lot to me that you took the time 🙂 Thank you very much. It was a vivid childhood memory. I used to scoop them out of the ditch water in the morning and try to save them. Not for any reason I can think of except that it felt nice to try to help 🙂 ❤

    • I used to do the same. Would muster the neighbourhood kids for a procession. I’m not sure where I got the idea, either? Neat.

      Thanks a bunch for taking my mind there. Both of you. 💋

  2. Yes, there’s a kind of simplicity here as well as depth. I like it.

    Mind you, I’m disappointed. I’ll have to stop looking for that mermaid who’s going to be the next big thing in folk rock.

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