The Pied Piper vs. the Sirens

by Gwynne Garfinkle

This poem originally appeared in Mythic Delirium


he sang to us of freedom
we crooned to him of thrall

he thought he lured us (he did)
then he smashed onto the rocks
his flute lost beneath the waves
and nibbled by glittering undersea fish

we thought we enticed him (we did)
then we wound up high
in the freezing mountains
mapless, far from home

his song made us shiver
his song dumped us in hot water
his song made us crave black leather and long highways
his song turned us into groupies in spite of ourselves
and that’s unforgivable

our song unmoored him
our song zapped his compass
our song made him long to breathe underwater
our song left him drifting in the cold, dark water
which served him right

now that it’s all over
(wherever he is)
we sing songs steeped in his
like strong black tea

© Copyright Gwynne Garfinkle


Gwynne Garfinkle lives in Los Angeles. Her collection of short fiction and poetry, People Change, was published in 2018 by Aqueduct Press. Her work has appeared in such publications as Escape Pod, Strange Horizons, Uncanny, Apex, GigaNotoSaurus, Dreams & Nightmares, and Climbing Lightly Through Forests. Her debut novel, Can’t Find My Way Home, is forthcoming in November 2021 from Aqueduct Press.


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