Size / / /

Seeking light,

She struggles

With great effort from the water.

Seeking warmth,

She scrabbles forward,

Searching for dry sand.

Her claws leave deep, wet scores

In the cold, black muck at water's edge,

But don't catch well

In the softer stuff

Just a few lengths farther inland.

Pale grey, this sand

Is polished to silken

Fineness by the wear of ages.

It holds the heat she's searching for,

Even now, long past sunset.

One of the last of her kind,

She does not know it;

She'd strive as strongly

If she shouldered through a crowd

Of a hundred of her sisters.

Guided by the pull of instinct

She knows only temperature;

She seeks the perfect weight and warmth

Of sand to cradle her last egg.

She finds the place just as the moon's

Face lifts over the sea's horizon.

A perfect hollow in gull-grey sand

Waits as if for her alone.

She nestles in it, closes her eyes,

Waits as the night breeze chills her back,

Her own scales quicksilver in the light

Of a spring full moon, a light to spawn by.

And when the egg is laid she turns away.

She kicks a drift of soft, fine sand

Into the hollow with careful purpose.

The moon lights a path for her across the beach,

But she knows the way back to the sea,

Just as the hatchling will know his way

Back to Atlantis when the sun spills gold

Over his first morning.




Robin M. Mayhall writes business articles and promotional copy by day and speculative fiction and poetry in her spare time. She lives in Baton Rouge, La., with four cats who indulge her hobby with only occasional attempts to sit on her laptop's keyboard. This is her first poetry sale. You can reach her by email at robin@hieran.com.
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
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