The Selchie's Children's Plaint

by Jane Yolen

In the box a gray skin,
wrinkled like the turning tide,
smelling of salt and old blood.
Unsmiling, Mama picks it up,
slings it over her shoulders
where it shapes itself to her back.
She leaves us then, without a word
wading into her future.
It hurts like a knife
skinning us as we watch her go.
We were the ones
who were to dive into another life.
But Mama goes first, leaving us
with only a box empty of promises
and a cold kitchen .

Jane Yolen says: "My favorite fruit is the seedless Clementine, followed quickly by green seedless grapes. And I have been collecting research material for a novel called GOBLIN MARKET, about the preRaphs."

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