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sleekit selkie By Natalie Jayne Clark

Natalie Jayne Clark is a neurodivergent writer, editor, and teacher based in Perth. Their debut spoken word show 'Call Me Witch' was selected to be a part of Hidden Door's 2022 programme. They write for SNACK Magazine and edit for The Hysteria Collective. Their poetry can be found in anthologies from Flapjack Press, Speculative Books and Open Book. Though not a native Scot, they have lived here half their life and have studied the Scots language for the last few years.

sleekit selkie

sleekit selkie
scuddle apart fae yer scuffin skin
ye wear ower tha toap o yer true skin
ye ay hae tae scug fae scum that scunges aboot

they caw ye 
squeerie wee scurrievaig
yet they’re the wans whit
scutter an
scutch ower yer boady

naebody comes when ye scronach
sculted shut

ye screenge awa yer scuffin skin
the wan they skiffed
mak a new wan

underneath ye arnae scrae
yer a stane glistening
a scoorie scoor

their skiffs nivir scrat the rael you
scurr awa 
scurr awa
sleekit selkie

By Natalie Jayne Clark 

English Translation:

sly/crafty/not to be trusted selkie

sly/crafty/not to be trusted selkie
naked apart from your second-best/dirty skin
you wear over the top of your true skin
you always have to take shelter from evil that prowls about

they call you
prowling/like a dog on the hunt little slut/vagabond
yet they’re the ones what
fiddle/splash about and
flick/graze/walk over your body

nobody ever comes when you cry shrilly/lament
slapped/stricken shut

you energetically rub/whip/flog/wander aimlessly away your second-best/dirty skin
the one they touched

underneath you aren’t a stunted/underdeveloped human
you’re a stone glistening
a blustery with rain/disreputable rush/stroke/blow on the ear/cleanse/scold

their touches never scratch/wound the real you
slide/slither away
slide/slither away
sly/crafty/not to be trusted selkie

By Natalie Jayne Clark