I cast the words in your direction,
on barbed hooks, with vile bait.
I waited at the water’s edge,
and I learned a bit too late—
that all I had intended was to
catch and throw you back,
but the words had been so hateful
that the waters had turned black,
and you were dying in the deep,
while I stood with rod and line,
wishing I could reel back
words that poisoned brine.
When mermaids–laughing, young, and sweet–
Shift from flippers to ten-toed feet,
Beware of smiles that lure you there–
Of rosy cheeks and curly hair.
For they won’t stay that way for long,
And all you’ll keep is their sweet song.