The Little Mermaid

by Anne Widdowson

The Little Mermaid began to chop
Her shimmering tail in two,
And squirmed beneath the axe’s head.
Blood spread across the clammy flesh,
Wet tissue sprayed about her chest,
As she maimed the sticky limb.

The cleft drooled, alien matter,
Not only to us; the girl was sickened
By the mutant fin, felt hatred
For her mongrel blood.
But time for alterations and tweaks,
To correct this monstrous flaw.

She grasped the fragile nerves and snapped;
Scales scattered where the water lapped
Her stinking slab of meat.
Scraps of sinew licked her wrists,
Slimy, hot beneath her frenzied touch,
Her shaking, grisly hands.

The child admired her work, unfazed
By the carnage, the carcass, the sight,
Hefting the chunks like a cripple might.
The pieces oozed and bulged,
Her figure, in her eyes, much improved
Compared to that dreadful tail.

With a sigh of respite and release,
She regarded the newly botched legs
And smiled. Fillets replaced the fin she had,
Hardly equipped to walk on land.
What a pity she’d never stand
On her two new stumps.