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Her Glum Face in Copenhagen Harbor by Lauren Moore

In Danish havfrue does not mean mermaid but half-woman.

It’s better to be seafoam than to be half a woman.

The images on posters and bus ads create an illusion of size

and substance. In fact she is only four feet tall, less than a woman,

slumped on the little rock, bronze arm curved over modest belly.

Her head was stolen in 1964. With a new one, is she the same woman?

Twenty years later, someone sawed off her arm but returned it the next day.

Whether hurt, whole, degraded, grateful—she is a silent woman

facing the sea, head turned from the crowd, spine curved,

knees bent. Protected by patina, an immortal woman.



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