“She-Kraken” by Christina Apathy

When I was a lass
I believed that a giant bulbous She-Kraken
lived in the center of the ocean.
And when she breathed in, our tide on land would rise,
and when she breathed out, our tide on land would fall.
This, of course, was when she was content and at peace.

On visits to the museum, I’d also seen masterworks done in oil of her temper-tantrums –
wrestling a crew of harpooned mariners and hoisting ships out of the sea.
(But that was only when seriously provoked!)
It was an event, and not a regular occurrence, by any timetable or compass.

Largely, I imagined her quite solitary, lonely even,
Crying in her underwater kingdom,
Where she weeped salty, bulbous tears that, pooling and rising,
flooded the canals and creek-houses’ backyards, killing the grass
and beckoning mis-matched rain boots to plash in puddles by musty fences.

But truthfully, she had a playful spirit and on most days her cheeky moods would cause her to reach out with her mile-long, tentacled, wily arms to caress the nearest thing –
a conch, or a smooth rock, or children as they splashed and giggled and squealed on the beach –
trusting their swim wings and their kicking feet.

She was a benevolent soul,
my friend, the She-Kraken,
A little clumsy and easily-excitable perhaps.
Like other creatures I know intimately.

Read more poems…