Mermaid

In matching swimming costumes

with go-faster frills, we lap the pool  —

Mum waves at us from the sun bed.

Her husband takes a loop of the lobby,

tells the barman his life story —

helps an old lady with her bags.

Mum doesn’t like getting her hair wet,

Mum points out the towel boy

with the twinkling eyes.

Someone brings chocolate eclairs

Mum shakes her head: we say,

but Mum, they’re your favourite!

Mum doesn’t like the building work

or loud families with rude children.

Mum likes our room,

         it has a hairdryer,

         an iron,

         a safe.

I’m plastered in a football strip trying to join the stag.

I’m hanging off the banister singing something in Irish.

I’m sick in all the women’s bags.

The other travellers stare when I fall.

My teeth shatter on marble —

Mum says, oh you silly old thing —

I wear sequins to dinner —

Mum embroiders holiday ruined

into the table cloth with her eyes.

There’s a tiny woman in the safe upstairs

I tell Mum I like the towel boy’s soft hair,

his twinkling eyes —I’m so hungover

my eyes fall out

two scallops in some shells —