He’d ventured out with his fishing gear
by David Lewis Paget
Before the breaking dawn,
Packed the bait in his four wheel drive
And backed it across the lawn,
He knew that he’d be the only one
At that time on the beach,
And maybe catch, with the early worm,
From the rocks along the breach.
He’d parked the Ranger, doused the lights
Before he looked to see,
The miles and miles of sand out there,
But no sign of the sea.
It must have been one of those funny tides
That receded out of sight,
There wasn’t a billow or breaking crest
Though the sea was there last night.
He climbed back into the Ranger then
And drove, while it was firm,
Way, way out, where the winter spray
Would freeze the air, in turn,
He must have driven a mile or more
But the sea was out of sight,
There were only deepening rock pools that
Were uncovered, overnight.
He stopped and parked by a monster pool
In the hopes there’d be a catch,
Long and deep where the fish would keep
Till the tide came rolling back.
He tossed his line with a baited hook
And it sank into the depths,
Until a flurry of water caught
His eye, and snagged his nets.
And then there rose to the surface such
A sight he’d never seen,
A pale and struggling girl with eyes
Of blue, and hair of green,
He hauled her in with his net until
Her strength began to fail,
And then he noticed that from her waist
Was a silver, fishes tail.
‘My god, you must be a mermaid, ’ he
Exclaimed, but more in shock,
And she lay still and she stared at him
From a seaweed ledge of rock,
She didn’t struggle, she didn’t fight
But she held her arms up high,
As he gently lifted the mermaid up
And he swore he heard her sigh.
That was more than a year ago
And the sea’s back, as before,
But he is more of a stay-at-home
Won’t go fishing anymore.
He sits and plays by his covered pool
So the contents can’t be seen,
And frolics there with the tiny fish,
And all of their hair is green.
26 May 2015