The Still Sea By Night

Stormy Seas

“Stormy Seas” by Kelsie DiPerna via Flickr.

The Still Sea By Night 
By Melissa Randall

She was lost in the sea. 

For what seemed like a decade,
but perhaps, was only just mere minutes,
she tossed and rolled in the waves.
Struggling to surface, she gasped for air.
Determined to swim,  she refused to sink.

Her desperation matched her anguish,
The longing for a raft, a buoy or just a board.
Anything that allowed her to rest her weary body
and regain her strength.

With fleeting hope, she shed the last of herself to stay afloat.
With every brassy chain unclasped, every layer discarded
and every scream, wail and plea that exploded from her lungs,
she was lighter, but still not free.

He watched the waves wear her down.
By the time she reached the shore,
she was chipped, cracked, and bleeding.
Her throat raw from thirst, her eyes dry from salt.
She collapsed, and trembling, exhausted, she wept.

Her voice raspy and sore but determined, angry, crass.
The surliness of a sailor, the fire of a siren, and the viciousness of a storm.
She stripped away the last of her ruined armor and cried -
“Why do you have me suffer?”
Her glassy eyes filled to the brim with salty, cloudy tears.
“I nearly drowned.”

He carefully picked up her broken body,
her tarnished soul,
and he wiped the last of her tears away.
He admired the somber, ashy grey horizon
that matched the turmoil and conflict in her eyes.

He said:

“If I could show you the golden world
the extravagant plans and love I have in store,
the treasure that will be your time on this Earth,
you will not learn the lessons I need you to.

You would not feel the pain in the waves.
You will lack empathy, your modesty would abandon you.
The lack of fear and doubt, will make you hard and jagged.
It’s the trials of this world, the waves, the sea, and
the hope for the shore that mold and transform you.
And that is why you suffer.”

He cradled her like a child, long enough for her to stand,
then set her back on her feet.
“This will not be the first time you will flail, but the first
time you will learn how to float, even in the roughest of
waters.”

And then he vanished into the sudden night,
the sea suddenly peaceful and still, quiet and calm,
the stars shimmering and bright,
and for the first time, she felt hope despite her wear
and strength despite her fear.

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