III. The Maiden By The Sea
Embodied now in flesh and blood, the lovely sight excelled
His prior expectations and opinions that he held.
His eyes had never looked upon or even understood
Such lithe and graceful comeliness, such perfect womanhood.
Her features bore the radiance of clearest northern skies
With hints of sunrise in her hair and sea mist in her eyes.
Cold winds had neither blown upon a form so pure and fair
Nor sung so strange a melody as played within her hair.
With nimble steps, she walked the shore, an enigmatic sign,
A creature so impossible to label or define.
Was she a common villager, one born of humble stock,
Or manifest divinity with secrets to unlock?
Such questioning consumed his thoughts. Her presence moved him so.
Her look reflected mysteries impossible to know.
Some sort of understanding passed from woman back to boy.
His reason searched for older words his ardor might employ.
The silence grew unbearable. The tension left him weak.
The maiden looked with furrowed brow as if prepared to speak,
But her expression then went blank. A faint smile crossed her lips.
She looked down contemplatively, her hands upon her hips.
Her suitor took a timid step, as awkward as could be,
And she, in turn, moved back a bit, although reluctantly.
So then he stopped, and so did she. This funny circumstance
Proceeded back and forth awhile, a cautionary dance.
Her gentle shoulders shrugged a little every now and then
She smiled at him and looked away, but soon looked back again.
He sensed her recognition then and loved her more because,
This lady had accepted him despite how young he was.
Still glancing back, she turned away, still silent as before,
To wander several feet from him, now drawn by ocean’s roar.
Upon a rocky point she stood, ten feet above the waves.
The white caps peaked like headstones marking long-forgotten graves.
Not far offshore, but twenty yards, the sea began to foam.
Then, instantly, a web of flesh broke surface like a dome.
Dark tentacles, like living whips, shot forward with a crack,
Enclosed the maiden in their coils, and quickly drew her back.
Her fading cry to no avail, she flew away from shore.
The moment lasted but a breath and not a second more.
She disappeared beneath the waves while, running to the bluff,
The only witness was this boy whose best was not enough.