|Young Seal by David Bollard|
I have never been much of a poet, but I wanted the chance to include a story-poem in the collection in part as a nod to my hero Neil Gaiman, who often writes lovely genre poems (and often in obscure poetic forms, as mine is).
A selkie story seemed like a natural choice for the poem. Selkies are a prominent figure in Celtic and Icelandic mythology. These maidens are were-seals who shed their skins to come on land as beautiful women. If a man were to steal such a skin, he could essentially enslave her and make her his wife -- but only as long as he kept her away from the skin. Once I knew that I'd want to write an anthology about beastly bridegrooms, I knew that selkies would show up.
My hope -- and it's up to you, reader, to tell me if I've succeeded -- was to capture both the sadness and the wonder of the selkie tales. The narrator may have lost his seal bride, but I think he's better for having known her.
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