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Rated: E · Poetry · Entertainment · #2036387
one man's experience
Mermaid or Mirage?

The day they left was Friday, ‘twas the thirteenth some recall
By dawn they hit the open sea, ahead they’d seen a squall
The sky had lost all blueness, and the grey clouds hung in pall
The Captain bade all hands to deck and ordered sails to fall

Great gusts came with a fury that caused canvas to stretch taut
The vessel ran before the wind, but plans were all for naught
From high in crow’s nest came the call, ‘a monster we have caught’
The lookout shimmied down and joined the crewmen as they fought

The thunder raged above them, and the lightning filled the sky
The gales that whipped around them sent loose lanyards on the fly
Huge waves that crashed against the hull sent sailor’s stance awry
They prayed with fervent pleas God hadn’t planned for them to die

The Captain shouted orders to a crew that couldn’t hear
He wanted someone in crow’s nest; he knew that rocks were near
But rain was now in torrents and their vision was not clear
And deep inside he felt first stirrings of his biggest fear

For six long hours the tempest raged, the crew now tired and spent
The mast had long since given way, across the deck it bent
The sails had loosed from lashings, full of holes most of them rent
‘Abandon ship’ was called just as upon the rocks they went

One very lucky sailor had survived the sinking ship
‘cause just as he prepared to die, he felt a solid grip
That hauled back to safety from a fatal current’s rip
And laid him on a sandy surface where he couldn’t slip

He recognized the siren who sat watching as he slept
He saw beyond her naked shoulders, flowing locks were swept
With seaweed braided in her hair, just like the memories kept
Despair descended on him and the tears rolled as he wept

Her face was quite exquisite with a natural glowing smile
But shipmates told so many tales of mermaid’s soft beguile
The sailor got to thinking and he lay there for a while
As tales he’d heard, and what he saw, he tried to reconcile

His heart was thumping in his chest; he knew he was in love
His mind was busy seeking any guidance from above
This maiden was the one for him, as sure as hand fits glove
He had to find a way to make her his own turtledove

He knew that loving mermaids was a pointless exercise
But under palms on golden sand beneath the clear blue skies
Obsession overtook him as he gazed into her eyes
Regardless of the fact, her face held no hint of surprise

For three short years he stayed there, was as happy as could be
Living in the mermaid’s world, he felt so trouble-free
Cavorting on the land and other times out in the sea
Until one morning when he woke, he faced new tragedy

The mermaid vanished in the night and left him all alone
All day he pondered where she’d gone, why he was on his own
The moment came he was aware his heart had turned to stone
Her leaving simply was an act he never could condone

He gathered everything he needed just before the night
By rubbing sticks together helped the tinder to ignite
The pyre sent out a plea for rescue with its flames so bright,
And sure enough a passing ship was lured by beacon’s light

The Captain listened to his tale and said he did admire
A sailor who survived alone in circumstances dire
But getting to familiar shores this sailor did aspire
With sorrow bleeding from his heart, poured water on the fire

He never went to sea again, and never was he wed
His heart was broken by a mermaid, when from him she fled
His rambling tales of mermaids filled the townsfolk full of dread
And most would mutter that sea dog was not right in his head

His memories are real to him, the only one who knows
The mermaid who had rescued him and helped to ease his woes
And so he tells his tale of shipwreck everywhere he goes
And lets the tears fall freely when a big sou’wester blows

line count 64
syllables 14
rhyme scheme aaaa
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