Not of Their Own Making / Alyse Bensel
dancing girl press, 2014
Alyse Bensel is the author of Shift (Plan B Press, 2012) and has poems most recently forthcoming or in Mid-American Review, Cold Mountain Review, Heavy Feather Review, and Ruminate.
She is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing specializing in poetry and eco-lit at the University of Kansas.
Melusine Spinning Yarns
Who wouldn’t think the French thought of mermaids
who gave advice to men who watched their fathers die,
who agreed to marriage if Saturdays they’re off the hook
to be alone in the castle. Who lay by moonlit fountains.
Who, seeking revenge against their father, were punished
to spin as serpents. Who kept golden keys in their mouths,
itched to bathe in tiled bathtubs. Who, when caught, burst
into dragons. Who abandoned their children, as half-fish
often did. Meluzina: the wailing winds, the spawn
of the devil, the Lady of the Lake, those succubi who
appeared every seven years for the taking, who vanished
mourning for lost children they could no longer hold.