My Heartbreaking Mermaids

Photo by me

This poem by Pablo Neruda really makes me think of the woman I work with.  I hesitate to share it, because I hate that last line, I wish he'd left it out.  If he had, it would have changed the whole tenor of the story.  You'll see what I mean:

The Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks
All those men were there inside,
when she came in totally naked.
They had been drinking: they began to spit.
Newly come from the river, she knew nothing.
She was a mermaid who had lost her way.
The insults flowed down her gleaming flesh.
Obscenities drowned her golden breasts.
Not knowing tears, she did not weep tears.
Not knowing clothes, she did not have clothes.
They blackened her with burnt corks and cigarette stubs,
and rolled around laughing on the tavern floor.
She did not speak because she had no speech.
Her eyes were the color of distant love,
her twin arms were made of white topaz.
Her lips moved, silent, in a coral light,
and suddenly she went out by that door.
Entering the river she was cleaned,
shining like a white stone in the rain,
and without looking back she swam again
swam towards emptiness, swam towards death.

On that Special Place

Bushel, originally uploaded by Molly Merrick.

"There is a special place in hell for women who doen't help other women."

-Madeleine Albright

If you're wondering if this is posted as a personal statement of intent, a professional statement of intent, a complement to the wonderful women who read this blog, a political criticism, just a little pearl of truth found on my starbucks cup, or something else; the answer is probably "YES"