Sarita Armstrong


The Nifty Mermaid

A wary sea-crow sat on a boat

A space was in his heart –

An empty, aching space.


A nifty mermaid passing by

Espied the space his boat beside

And laughing said, “I’ll drop my hook

Beside this boat and see what loot

Perhaps I’ll gain in this ‘ere space.”


The ‘crow with beak and beady eye

Shook ruffled feathers when he spied

The nifty mermaid passing by –

And took another look!


A sticky cake was all it took

To lure the mermaid from her nook,

And soon the ‘maid did not know quite

What to do to hide the light

Kindled in her eyes one night –


It wasn’t right!

And yet she knew that ‘rightness’

Was the very thing – and fight it

As she might, the light came bright.


Every cup o’er filled with pain

Will spill its contents down the drain

Of life’s wretched, winding lanes.


Every space that’s empty must

Be filled again and just

When all seems dark and lost –

The sun will melt the frost.


© Sarita Armstrong 1985