Friday, May 15, 2015

#176 Shipwreck

Splinters. Fragments of wood, fresh, sharp, red as cedar, litter the damp sand. Strangers among the tiny stranded jellyfish and crab holes. Bent, tortured, one has a hard, white paint fragment clinging to its face.

Farther down the beach the splinters begin to line up, long lacy arcs of them, raked in by the water. And now the larger pieces appear; a chunk of deck, black with tar; a pointed piece of prow; could that have been the mast stand

The sea, indifferent, roars and surges. Blind, it cannot see the wreckage still in its arms, the dead weight still floating in the surf, making its way to shore.

Weathered colors of paint on a shattered board speak of broken beauty. Sodden clothing dragged up on the point of a broken beam splays across the sand. Nails stab upward through a face-down board.

Someone has tried to clean up already. A metal first-aid kit sits near the top of a plastic bucket of debris. Some of the pieces have been dragged into piles.

The eye of Ra stares, huge, black and wet, from a jagged-edged panel. Did it see the reef that would wreck it, in the dark and high surf of the night?

Strange shapes, a puzzle, some pieces too large to move, others too small to find, strewn over a mile of beach. All together, it had been a boat. I am standing in the midst of a boat, on the beach, beside the eternal sea.



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