After we did in that last batch of sailors,
I asked mom why we done what we done.
We was born to retribute, she says,
We’re retributing women.
I didn’t see much in it—
Scrubbing flesh and bone and splintered wood
Off the rocks, waiting for the tide pools
To run clear again.
It got to when I saw a ship speck
Coming at us I felt sick
To the tip of my tail fin.
We’re retributing women, mom says.
The others joined in, clucking
Their forked tongues.
It got to where I couldn’t raise
The wind and waves with their voices no more.
I slipped in the water, kept on swimming until
My tail split in two and grew toes.
Now the sand burns my feet.