(for Gitte, Niels & the girls)

That sweet Little Mermaid
who sits all alone,
just warming herself
in the pale northern sun.

Is she Bodil or Eva,
Susanna or what?
Her skin of pure metal
is all that she's got.

Her perch is so smooth
and round like a pebble.
She seems most unlikely
to cause any trouble.

She's not very big,
even small for her size.
So what is the mystery
I see in her eyes?

How far has she been,
to England or France?
Those men of the Baltic,
she leads them a dance.

There were students one night
who sawed off her head,
but the Danish authorities
made a new one instead.

And they did a fine job
as you can't see the join.
It's more than just solder
from a five kroner coin.

And I think of her often
by that sea with no tide,
with Denmark and Sweden
stretched out either side.

Tho she never responds
you can see she's a spark.
To those men from the Baltic
she always says, Tak!

So maybe one day
I''ll go back for some sport.
To that pert little Mermaid
I think I'll pay court.

I'll buy her a dress
of the finest Fair Isle,
then tell her a secret
and get her to smile.

We'll climb the Round Tower
and look over the city,
and I'll whisper, Your skin
is so burnished and pretty!

So then, is she Karen,
Susanna or who?
I need to be certain
my feelings are true.

Where she sits by the harbour
I remember so well.
One day I'll return
with no need of Farvel!

Tho she speaks through her teeth
her language is clear.
It's a lot like Old English
to my English ear.

She's a daughter of Knud,
King Canute as we say.
So I know we're related
in some special way.

And Hamlet, our uncle,
tho both far removed,
would welcome our friendship
if travel improved.

Now she doesn't go far
yet there's plenty she knows.
Those men from the Baltic
she keeps on their toes.

And I love how she poses,
her fins underneath,
with a touch of the Kattegat
clear on her breath.

So Bodil or Eva,
whoever you are,
in the sunshine of Denmark
for me you're a star.


Click the link below to read more about the poet
More about Mark

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