Ocean Daughters
by Jaime Lee Moyer




Wear your widow's weeds

to petition the sea,

stand on the beach while

waves caress  your toes and

foam round your ankles,

feel her hunger for the salt

locked in your blood in the way

sand hisses and slides away,

tugging you toward the depths.


Step back from the ocean's

grasping fingers,

back to where children

build castles under a mother's

watchful eyes.


Throw your marriage ring

into the seething surf,

an offering to mother ocean

salted with tears,

a tithe to an ocean daughter

who stole your man from

storm washed decks,

throw your pleas to return him

into the wind.


Watch mothers gather

small sons and daughters

reluctant to hurry home,

smile at the tow-haired boy

who offers sprigs of sea pinks

clutched in a tiny fist.


Wait while the sun slips

below an apricot tinged horizon,

wait while the tide glides out

and crabs scuttle on sand

awash in moonbeams,

try not to remember

the sea never relinquishes

those it claims.


Listen to the mermaids' laughter

from the harbor wall where

they comb their hair before

you surrender to sleep,

listen to the siren's song

planting love for the sea

in men's hearts,

listen to the ocean's daughters

luring them back into boats

with each rising sun.


Wake to gulls crying as they swoop

above the waves,

wake to sails already small

on the horizon,

wake to shells in a circle on sand,

a marriage ring in each one.



About the Author:

Jaime lives next to a river in the wilds of Ohio. She writes books and stories as well as poetry, assisted by two warrior kittens who help her chase the Muse. In her spare time she is the Poetry Editor for Ideomancer Speculative Fiction. On most days, she can honestly say life is good.

Her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, The Fifth Di..., Illumen, Star*Line, Raven Electrick, The Sword Review, Dreams and Nightmares, Lone Star Stories, Flashquake, Beyond Centauri and the special edition chapbook, On Our Way to Battle: Poetry From the Trenches. Her first poetry chapbook, Blood and Brine, came out in March of 2007 and her poetry has been nominated for both the 2006 and 2007 Rhysling Award.


Poem 2007 Jaime Lee Moyer.