A water nymph with ice-white eyes
Watches nearby as the sailor dies.
No pity within her liquid heart
For a creature who doesn’t know the art
Of ocean travel through wind and storm,
Since leagues from land, such is the norm.

Her pearly skin glows and shines;
Lighting his way as he sinks in the brine.
A gift from the nymph to a silly mortal;
A vision of wonder as he enters the portal
Where his breath will stop and his mind will fill
With sea-borne phantoms as his heart falls still.

The nymph smiles as he slips beneath the foam,
Knowing his spirit now enters her home.
Tonight as storms darken the sky,
The sailor will learn that he did not die.
His bones and hair and soul will change
Into something enduring, rich and strange.

The water nymph’s salty kisses will stir
A transformation, if he wishes, into one like her;
A creature of river and sea and stream
Of ice and chill and rain and steam.
Hand in hand the nymph and her mate will go
Wherever currents pull and waters flow.