Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stranded

After the wave, they were left
gasping against the sand, silver sides
fading to gunmetal. We ran
along the beach, throwing them back
in desperate bargains: For my spouse,
my sister or brother, my beloved child
one fish, a hundred fish?

No deals were made. The lost
remained lost, the fish dead.
Even a thousand fish would not have sufficed
though we kept them alive
with the salt of our own eyes. Even a million fish
could not bring back a single soul of all those stranded
on the other side of the water.

Now we turn away from the fish markets.
It's not that those glassy eyes
reproach us: fish are kinder than that.
It's the feel of salt slime sliding
under our fingertips. It's the smell
of dead sea life, like chains of seaweed
rank and dripping, binding us to memory
like Andromeda to her rock. We
are stranded forever
on the other side of that moment,
that wall of water.

--for Big Tent's prompt: Stuck.
Collection available! Knocking from Inside

13 comments:

vivinfrance said...

This had me in tears. A very powerful metaphor.

Rinkly Rimes said...

The 'desperate bargains' came vividly to life.

LKHarris-Kolp said...

Excellent... vivid imagery, emotional and moving piece.

~laurie

http://www.lkharris-kolp.blogspot.com

namingconstellations said...

This is astonishing. You address the tragedy itself simply and elegantly (that "after the wave" is perfect), and the way you focus more on that feeling of desperation and sorrow is so powerful. Excellent piece.

Jingle said...

I am running with your words, feel desperate.

powerful piece, well penned.

Here is My Entry, Thanks for reading!

briarcat said...

Thank you for this. I've been attempting to address the feeling of being unable to help. You've done it beautifully

flaubert said...

Eloquent and sad at the same time.

"Now we turn away from the fish markets.
It's not that those glassy eyes
reproach us: fish are kinder than that."

Beautifully done.

Pamela

Cathy said...

Even a thousand fish would not have sufficed
though we kept them alive
with the salt of our own eyes

Perfectly said and beautifully written.

www.thequietone.net

DJ Vorreyer said...

Wow. Can't add much to what everyone else has said. An elegant response to a tragic circumstance.

Tumblewords: said...

Powerful and eloquent...

Jeanne Aguilar said...

True and heartfelt at the same time.

caroleesherwood said...

this is beautiful. and i love this pair of lines:

"It's not that those glassy eyes
reproach us: fish are kinder than that."

liv2write2day said...

Very profound. I don't think I've visited your blog before. Hope to see more of your work.