The Lighthouse Lament

Aug 24  |  Lisa Verdekal

The ship slices through a still, black sea. Without moon or star light above, the sky offers no relief from the dense night. Yet up ahead a rhythmic flash disrupts this endless darkness. Danger. Danger. Alter your course.

Let the keeper guide you to safety.

But the ship does not heed the warning of rocky coastline up ahead. Can the captain not see the light?

The ship drifts towards its jagged fate. No commotion on deck, no hastening crew, no panicked passengers.

The light grows feeble. Has the keeper, weary of being ignored again and again, abandoned his post?

On closer inspection, the ship’s deck is devoid of life. The cabins are empty, the bridge is unmanned.

A gale whips up. An aching howl. The ship rocks, bones roll from bow to stern, port to starboard, cracking against wood, crunching over plastic cups and containers. Scapulas, sternums, femurs and clavicles entangle with overturned deck chairs, sunglasses and deflated balloons. Bottles slide off shelves, the smash of glass. Bones mingle with shards.

The clang of muffled church bells in the distance.

Calling no one to worship.

No savior has come.

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