Ann Harvey’s Weblog

dedicated to the lives of those lost and retrieved at sea

I Stand Upon The Rocks

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I stand on the edge of the rocks as the small boat works toward us carefully .. and I put the life rope in a woman’s hands. She has a shawl clenched in her teeth and there seems no fear in her eyes.. only determination. She is in the surging waves now.. pulling strongly along the rope toward a boat that rises and falls with every sweeping wave. The black dog we have seen is beside her now.. a great black head that seems to push her the last little way. She must be tiring with the babe in the shawl held so high. But now through the rain I see hands lifting the precious burden aboard and reaching again to somehow get the exhausted woman aboard as well. I hand the rope to another woman and she too follows it hand over hand as the dog meets her half way.. The boat seems closer now as if they know this one will not make it in the freezing water. I see a young woman standing at the oars and pointing into the waves.. at the stern is a lad on a sweep oar. Again the hands reach down and we see the older woman is dragged aboard somehow. As a wave sweeps under, the lad turns the boat neatly.. The oars flash with solid strokes until again they disappear from view. I turn to the remaining group here on the rocks.. the water is rising with the incoming tide.. and the waves seem stronger as it grows darker. I stand on the rocks and wait as the rain sweeps over us. I count how many of us remain.. women, children, men.. and know there will be many trips of the small boat before I too plunge into the waves with the rope.

Written by annharvey

June 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm

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