The Dancer

by Angela Prew

The traffic was snarled, hooting, halted.
The girl danced, elegantly, fluidly,
nakedly.
Drivers craned to see her,
enjoying her performance, her beauty,
but impatient to go home.
Police arrived, cuffed the dancer,
loaded her into their car, drove her away.
The drivers resumed their day.
 
Who was this dancer?
The police asked her but she laughed,
“Tell me you didn’t like my dance.”
They wrapped her in a sheet
hiding her nakedness.
 
Her day had been technicolor,
a rainbow calling her to celebrate.
She cried
as they forced her to swallow pills
and her world became grey.

Middle-Aged Mermaids

by Pam Newham

You see them as they float through the mall.
They toss their rippling hair,
as shiny as wave-swept kelp.
Their breasts bob while their
smooth, sanded faces remain unmoved.
Their siren-eyes keep searching.

At the sushi bar they perch
on high stools and flick the tips
of their shark-skin shoes.
Their coral-pink lips call
“Come back. Come back.”
But it is not
susceptible sailors
they wish to lure
as their yearning eyes
watch the ship called
Yesterday
sail away.