An Island’s Daughter

(For Rae-Rae, on her Birthday)

*** 

The old stories have a rhythm

Like the waves of the sea,

Washing up on the dark sands of time

With the pungent scent of natural elements

And the taste of salt

 –

They sting and refresh,

Bringing back the ghosts of hearty souls

Who lived it, and worked it,

And felt the tides in their blood

Like their own pulse

– 

Vague things, undefined

Like the stars that drown in the wine-dark water

Or that melt into a pale October dawn

Or that grace an Admiral’s jacket

Shine out in memory

 –

The blood in the tides is now unseen,

But it trickled down planks of British oak and tar,

And swords now left to rust in indifference

Once gleamed like shark’s teeth

For the defense of a realm

 –

Who will remember an island’s son

Better than an island’s daughter?

The sea is mute if no one hears it

And the stories fade if no one tells them

But you give them new life

 –

You are a bard of today,

One who treads the line between past and present

To keep the heroes alive who might be dead to us

And to give shape to the consciousness of the future

Through that which is timeless

– 

You have a gift, and are a gift

 —

By Rosaria Marie

 

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