My sister cries the sea

Pamela Mordecai

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My sister is crying and crying

her tears grow to salt stormy showers

to rain and to rapids and rivers

they run to the sea to the sea.


My sister sobs softly she knows

she listens at shells and the shoals

she hears from fish sleeping at nightfall

she gathers from mushrooms and moulds.


Hears walking fish clear at Mayaro

black eyes popping out of their heads:

“The wind it gone out of the water

the sea things is tarred to their beds.”


Hears lichen and moss at Newcastle

as tree things brown up and go dry:

“The poisons them capture the air waves!

The land and the sea going to die.”


My sister is crying and crying

Her tears have joined up with the tide.

The shells and shallows have vanished.

The earth and the heavens divide.

Pamela Mordecai, "My sister cries the sea" from Certifiable. Copyright © 2001 by Pamela Mordecai. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Certifiable (Goose Lane Editions, 2001)