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Ditch Mermaids

There are ditch mermaids
gossiping in spring runoff
at the edge of fields

No seashells here.
Freshwater mermaids know
how to glide by all that trickles and drops
down these steep banks, the trash
caught in the weeds–
plastic bags and dented cans,
takeout styrofoam and Big Gulp cups

Sure, they dream big dreams,
fantasize about wider horizons,
about the lives of their ocean cousins
(who call them mean names–
poor ditch trash, and worse)
But here the fields carry green spring smells
of clover and manure and in their hearts
they are hometown girls who prefer
fresh mud to sea spray

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