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Picture 10423736, oil painting by Raymond Sheppard, image copyright Mary Evans / Raymond Sheppard Collection

Selkie
by Eilish Fisher

 

She watches in early light

the cast and sway of men on distant boats,

illegal lobster pots tossed, marked by opal milk cartons.

 

The sea inhales,

soothing the horizon and sky

into a single curtain of salted murk,

 

while stretched on the beach stones,

true seals

nurse their young beside the water’s edge.

 

One, milk-drunk,

wanders the soft length of her side,

pushes petal skin against her pelt.

 

A hiss and bark mother-warning to both,

she moves away from the tiny warmth,

back to the rising tide,

 

remembering then,

how the seals are always first

to recognise her difference.

 

 

© Eilish Fisher

Picture 10423736, oil painting by Raymond Sheppard, image copyright Mary Evans / Raymond Sheppard Collection

 

 

Eilish Fisher grew up on a farm in rural Vermont and moved to Ireland in 1998. After more than twenty years in Ireland, she considers herself both a Wicklow and Vermont writer.  Her poetry has been published in Crannog Literary Magazine, Three Drops From a Cauldron, The Ogham Stone and Cailleach literary journals and in the anthology Writing Home; The ‘New Irish’ Poets, published by Dedalus Press. In summer 2020 she won second place in the Ken Saro-Wiwa Poetry Competition and was also awarded a place on the Words Ireland Mentoring Programme for young adult and children’s literature. Her first children’s novel was shortlisted for the Mslexia Children’s Novel Award in 2018.  She received a master’s degree in early medieval Irish history and literature and a doctorate in medieval English literature from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.  Eilish is represented by Joanna Moult at Skylark Literary agency.  She lives in Glenmalure, County Wicklow.

 

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