Summer Goddess

Illustration by Cathy Delanssay

Summer Sea is a goddess
with limbs of copper and brown.
Gold from dread pirate’s loot
is braided into the nets of her hair.
Goldfish dart like lightning bugs
and koi fly like kites at her side.
The seas rise and fall, billow, swirl,
like sails on storm-tossed ships
whose figureheads chant old sea songs
with night lips painted red.
The salt and the spray are rosaries
for the mermaids who use them to pray
to Summer Sea goddess,
always the same prayer
never granted
that Summer Sea goddess will stay.
— Annette Marie Smith