The Laughing Mermaid – A Cascade Poem

He fused her legs into a tail

Isolating her to control her

She had the last laugh

She thought she could change him

But he kicked that notion out of her head

He fused her legs into a tail

She fought at first then realized

He had changed her mind to match her body

Isolating her to control her

With her last pearl of breath, she took his

Hardening her skin and heart and resolve

She had the last laugh

The picture above was the prompt from Hélène Vaillant’s “What do you see?” Challenge. I don’t know where the photo was taken (Hélène mentioned in the comments that was looking into that) but it does bring to mind the Hans Christian Andersen story of “The Little Mermaid”. Unlike the Disney version, the original telling does not have a happy ending.

I’ve never liked this story since it is all about the Little Mermaid changing herself and sacrificing herself for a prince who doesn’t even “see the real her”. My feminist heart bristles at that implication since it sets the stage for so many of the negative and/or unrealistic messages that women get about what it means to be in a relationship. What would be a better narrative, a better fairy tale, about relationships?

©️ iido 2018

13 thoughts on “The Laughing Mermaid – A Cascade Poem

  1. beautiful cascade poem, it flows majestically and i think so fitting with the photo prompt and theme you were going with. women and girls are stereo typically objectified in most fairy tales and seen as the weaker ones that need rescuing and written into a story that they need to change to adapt to the world. I love your feminist heart and take on this story, I defend the strength of women, Merida from Brave is about the only female lead I can relate to, she refused to be fit into a mould, she made the world fit around her. wild hair and wild everything I really love her attitude! As I love this poem, it gives strength to women, even when they are bound and tied to convention, we will show our strength even in keeping still. she had the last laugh just made my morning an excellent one, I am glad I read this first as I woke today – brilliant my dear simply brilliant! very modern for the cascade in a way, no tender words just blunt facts. powerful. ok I need to stop I am fangirling over your poetry now!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My head is floating away after reading this! Thank you! I totally agree with the observations you’ve stated. Women show strength even in keeping still. I gather my strength from your words today. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What do you See? Roundup (Oct/30/2018) | Willow Poetry

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