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Mermaid Thoughts
by Rose Ivy

So, she can’t be a mermaid.

Tis not the tale of a true fish woman. 


They sneer a snicker at her melanin,

They make drowning jokes.

They point at the depths of the water and ask where could she be?

Her color her shield in those dark waters.

Her mind has been sharpened to look out for sharks.

They do not see the ghosts of her ancestors rising. 


All the whimsy of the mythical turns into the truth and a grim tale.

What do they know about traveling across worlds forcibly?

How can they imagine what it is like to be a part of someone's world,

when all they know is how to dominate and make new?

We have always been a part of your world.

Now we are transcending.

Raising our voices from the tops of cliffs and remaking ourselves into royalty. 

A black woman cannot be an ocean princess they say.

How many black cherubs were taken

and chose the sweet release of the water than the hands of their oppressors?

What do they know about making peace with their gods? 

Or have to learn how to sink, swim, or become owned? 


Our little Ariel is a recreation. 

A reimagining of a dream.

Her beating heart courses with the voices of the past.

The ones who drowned before earning their crown.

Give this woman whimsy and a soft face. 

Let her image grace young minds,

and let her story become the success of a woman

who could survive the brutality of the ocean.

A woman who will let the ghosts of the water support and guide her. 


It's not just a movie.

It’s not a riot against tradition. 

It is another culture trying to carve a place-

And be a part of this European dominated world. 



Rose is a neurodivergent queer writer who aims to show that everyone has the capacity to create. She graduated Pitzer Fall 2021, where she majored in English with a focus on creative writing. She is currently working on publishing her first collection of poetry "Ink Blot Girl Diaries" and applying for a Master's in library science. Her first poem will be premiered in an upcoming poetry anthology Future Splendor published by Bee Infinite Publishing. You can find Rose on "Muse Poetry" podcast where she shares her works.


Besides poetry, Rose loves rainy days, reading, and playing with her 4 dogs and 2 cats.

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