Friday, July 1, 2011

Mermaids in Maine

It's July. It's Maine. The sun is shining and I can't wait to get to the ocean. "The Mermaid" is part of my collection of Maine poems celebrating a Maine summer.

Skate egg cases are known as mermaids’ purses. Horns and tendrils on each of the corners anchor the case to seaweed. Each case contains one egg, and skates lay multiple pairs throughout the breeding season.

In six to twelve months, the young skate slits the side of the case and slips out. Two skates common to the Gulf of Maine are smooth skate, Malacoraja senta, and thorny skate Amblyraja radiate.

The Mermaid

tosses her empty purse
on the sandbar and flips away.
She glides with skates to
egg them on in case
they let slip more
leather pouches
with tassels and tendrils-
cast off without notice.


  1. I have always found those egg cases to be so mysterious and wonderful. This poem brings back lovely memories of wandering rocky beaches looking for treasure. Thanks!

  2. What an enticing, playful poem! Those cases/egg sacks are so intriguing. A few writer friends and I ventured to Atlanta yesterday for a "mythic creatures" museum exhibit - we each posed for a picture in the mermaid cut-out, of course! Happy Summer :0)

  3. Thanks, Andi. I love scouring rocky beaches, too!

  4. Thank you, Robyn. Mythic creatures - now there's a theme for a poetry collection. Sounds like you had a great time.


Comments welcome.