by Mari McKee
Poem about fishermen who witness a miracle found within a net they had cast into the sea.
| Death at Sea
In the black of night,
galaxies of stars shine,
but their beauty is unnoticed,
when the five fishermen hear mournful wails,
accompanied with salty tears.
They become afraid as they listen,
while deep within them,
they feel a sad sympathy as they look,
into the salty brine,
searching for answers.
There is a mysterious and mystical beauty
found within the cacophony,
of discordant minor notes,
that are heard not only with ears,
but within their hearts.
They hurry as they pull up all but one
of the nets cast that morning,
in sinewy bodies,
possessing amazing strength.
Hurriedly, they go below,
wearily, they climb into their bunks,
they can still hear the anguished
song of lament,
cried by a sea creature.
Restless and bothered,
they seek the escape of slumber,
only to find themselves tossing and turning,
as the mournful sounds,
enter and invade, claimming the cabin and their dreams.
At dawn there is no breakfast
until they pull up the last net,
then cast more nets for the day,
it is hard work, but they love the sea,
the creatures caught provide food for their families.
It takes all the fishermens strength to haul up the net,
This one is particularly heavy as they heave it on board,
a mountain of shrimp and fish causes a round of high fives,
beginning to sort, they put their catch in ice,
they toss shells and eels into the depths.
Startled, they hear the mournful song again,
tired and hungry they try to ignore the cries,
as they near the bottom of the net there is a small bundle,
covered with sea weed, shells and shrimp,
a feeling of impending doom invades them.
The captain of the crew drops to his knees,
he carefully, almost reverently, removes the debris,
and they see long blond curls,
intertwined with the most beautiful ,
of sea anemones, flowers of the sea.
He gently pushes perfect curls aside,
which had hidden an angelic face of a child,
the exquisiteness of her beauty,
brings the rest to their knees,
as they, unabashedly, weep.
Captain carefully finishes uncovering her,
before them was a perfect girl-child mermaid,
even death could not distort and deny her beauty,
They prayed for her, her grief-stricken mother and for themselves,
mermaids don’t exist, do they?
There were no thoughts of fame and fortune,
there was only a palpable grief,
for this little sea creature,
who had her joy and love of life,
extinguished by their net, cast by their hands.
The existence of mermaids has long been debated,
now with proof, they knew they
must protect these sea creatures at all costs,
or else they would become highly hunted,
sold to the highest bidder.
They gently put her back in the azure sea,
crying as they watched her sink until
they could no longer see her,
they fervently vowed, before God, that they would
never speak of her again..
Mermaids do exist
they understand and feel love, pain, fear, joy,
they mourn for their loved ones who die,
the crew knew they were blessed with witnessing a miracle,
that is forever, silently locked within their hearts.