Once upon a time, I was beautiful.
I was shaped by the rough-hewn hands of a carpenter, molded, planed, loved.
My grains ran through the wood, like blood vessels under skin,
and I smelled of trees deep in the forest, reaching up to the sunshine.
I was braced with metal fittings, bolted and stretched taut,
then had crevasses sealed with thick pitch.
Weather-proofed, water-proofed against the elements of a sea-faring life.
I was painted at last a soft green to match a sea of tranquility,
and I braved the ocean day to day, clear and stormy alike,
to feed the hungry my fresh catch.
I grew older and stronger through the years in my daily routine
until my owner sold me to another sailor,
who painted me a new color to match my mood and the deep blue sea.
My skin was gashed and pushed to its limits by this energetic man,
but I carried my catch none-the-less,
until I slowed down in my waning years and needed more attention.
Sold again to another poor fisherman who painted me the red of poppies,
who saw in me a new-found resilience and strength
that could only be had by years bargaining with the sea.
Until finally he moved onto a boat with lines smooth and true
that smelled like a fresh forest in the morn,
and I was left behind on a deserted stretch of beach, to question my purpose.
I was weathered and worn down by my life on the sea,
my paint faded and chipped and peeling,
my metal fittings rusted, my boards bleached, my skin scarred.
Now I brave the storms from my land-locked port
and am covered with seaweed and lichen,
kissed by the sea when the tides come in, the taste of salty tears.
I sit waiting and hoping for a visit from someone who loves the sea as much as I,
until one day I hear the shouts of children
and feel their feet bouncing upon my creaking boards.
In my mind I take them out upon the ocean,
a swash-buckling pirate roaming free upon the deep blue sea,
while in their imagination I am at once young and proof against nature.
Once again, I am beautiful.
Photo Credit: John Grant at Meticulous Mick
With my gratitude and blessings… ~ Theresa