The Witch’s Daughter
South Utsire, southerly or southwesterly 4 to 6,
becoming variable, occasional rain, fog patches.
You can't drown him, mother said,
he was born under the Dog Star, rising,
his caul wrapped tight around his head.
Still, I whistled my bad fortune
from the shore; for somewhere
I am a wreck, a dark harbour for serpents,
swilled and sand-blown, barnacled, but
with the bones of a memory of land,
of the sure-footed.
Lundy, Fastnet, Northeast 3 to 5, moderate in the southwest,
but elsewhere smooth or slight. Fair. Good.
I went to sea in a cockleshell,
it being a Wednesday, my broom for an oar,
I had a mind to find him, with tricks
of glittering scales, the ocean, a thousand
cormorants deep. A selkie, soft-slipped, shiny
as a black pearl, beneath an ithe, returned
to the strangeness -- the abyssal of fangtooth
and wolffish, beneath a squall, its sea spell and
the flickering green lanterns below.
Hebrides, Bailey, Fair Isle, Faeroes, southwest 5 to 7,
becoming cyclonic later, rain or showers.
Kelp-haired, fists of brine, I sought him,
over the shapes of monsters, the shadows
of half-dreams, across leagues of ogin,
a great swell, the dangers of unbroken eggshell,
me, a witch's daughter, and him, with his knots
that he knew from palomar to bimini twist;
we knew each other well once, I think, but
this how we sail now, fitful and alone,
adrift upon the mysteries of sleep.
Image is from here: https://artvee.com/dl/the-witchs-daughter/