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