Rachel Plummer is a poet and creative writing teacher based in Edinburgh. She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2016, and was given a cultural commission from LGBT Youth Scotland to write a collection of children’s poems, Wain, which retells traditional Scottish folk stories with an LGBT+ perspective. Wain has since been published by Emma Press. Rachel runs creative writing workshops for children and teens at the Scottish Poetry Library.
Once I loved a human boy.
But that was long ago, before the sea
scattered its silver coins on the coast
at Eynhallow, filling my purse.
Once I loved a finwife
and her love was a transformation.
I grew gills. A shiny tail,
fish-scaled, leafy as a dragon.
That was how much I loved her.
So much that I breathed water
and spoke coral, and swam.
So much that I forsook the land
and went home with her
to the Finfolk’s palace on the sea bed:
Finfolkaheem. It glowed with the light
of a thousand phosphorescent creatures.
It swayed like a drowned woman’s hair.
It sang like the sea
in an empty conch shell;
I held it to my ear.
Once I loved a human boy
and loved the land he walked on,
his two feet, his strong legs,
the hill that was our home.
But time came like a tide;
eroding life’s bedrock
and flooding me with the possibility
From Wain (Emma Press, 2019)