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Kuldeep Rana


Mermaid


She chooses convenience over civilities
and amusement over etiquettes.
She was exuding life sitting in a slowly dying locomotive.

Children call her 'Fisher-woman' for they have been told
that imagination is not practical and that the time of fairies and mythical creatures was far over
the day the rails made the final bend towards and into their land.

There she was sitting, chatting up a storm among the bevy of fellow mermaids.
She seemed almost happy as she had finally been able to sell off the last of her scales
but somehow, she wondered, why couldn't she smell human.
For the air around her smelt of ocean and sand and there was not even a hint
of aspiration, want or greed in either the head or the tail of her scent.

She caught me looking at her prosperously empty basket, a large one at that,
and twitched instinctively before realizing she had nothing left to offer.
Almost embarrassed she looked at me consoling, promising of her return the next day
with a basket full of earthly fragrances and an assurance
that imagination is not out of fashion, not yet.

Submitted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
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