by Maureen McQuerry

Among the hermit crabs and necklaces of bladderack,
a woman's shape, sleek as sea washed stone, reclines,
her skin shed like water, a dark pool cupped
between sharp teeth of rock, hair thick and matted as kelp.
The selkie has risen out of the sea searching

for her heart's desire. Men have wandered windy coasts
longing for something just beyond the edge of reason.
It always comes to this: one man, one day.
She is compelling as the tide. He's lost
in that moment when the sea tumbles the shore.

The sun licks the curve of her back. He knows the taste
of salt and sweat, but this is more, dredged from depths
he's not explored, the siren's call -- full with sea
and gravid hope of things unseen. Woman-seal
who twines his heart in loops of hair, her profile

casting out to sea where sun glints from a wave's crest,
in one move as swift, rejoins her slip of skin,
dives an arc through glittering air,
leaves no ripples in these waters.

Maureen McQuerry is a teaching artist for Washington State and a gifted education specialist. She lives near the banks of the Columbia River with her family and big dog, Bear. She is the author of Wolfproof, (Idylls Press 2006) the first of a YA fantasy trilogy, its sequel The Travelers' Market debuting in July, two non-fiction books, and a poetry collection,Relentless Light, (Finishing line 2007). Her chapbook, Wingward, won the New Eden Chapbook Competition. Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Georgetown Review, The Southern Review, Relief Journal, Smartish Pace and Goblin Fruit. You can find out more about Maureen's work here.

When asked to name her favourite fruit, Maureen replied: " There is a tie for first place between an Asian pear and a cherry. And I like them for opposite reasons. The pear has a wonderful crunch and is tart, reminds me of winter. The cherry is soft and sweet like summer."

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