The Rope

Dark clouds like
Black boulders
Rolling in above
The ocean
I walk barefoot
On the shore
Face to the wind
Salty water laps

My cold feet
Tangle in a rough
Thick rope
Reaching down
Its soggy weight
Course from sand
Slippery with sea weed
Twisted scouring my palms

As I pull it grows longer
Leading to the sea
Winds whip as I pull
And feet slip in sand
Falling back
Heels dug in I pull
Slowly I begin to win
This tug of war

A wave recedes
Revealing a gruesome corpse
A woman tied in rope
Knots on both sides
I frantically pull
Running toward her
Pulling
I reach her

Not dead she
spits out salty water
“the babies are being murdered” she gasps
I look around as rain falls
Knots are rain swollen
I drag her away from the tide
The rope the rope resists
And I spy it taut in the tide

Pulling hard against
The lunging waves
Another being emerges
A man barely breathing
I rush madly forward
Gurgling he expels with lasts breaths,
“we must save our forests”
The rope continues into the deep

I pull again and again
For there are more
Another man another
Pronouncement
“Don’t let them hurt my children”
More rope more knots
The rope is a conduit
Sapping my strength

The rope continues
On and on forever into the ocean
A woman begs me in the surf
“don’t let them take my way of life”
My lips are briny with her tears
I drag her to the others
The shore is littered
With bodies I cannot help

I pull again
I can pull one more I think
This man cries out
“let me marry the man I love”
The rope continues into the ocean
I am spent
I lay on the shore
A thousand voices in my head

I feel a tug
I am pulled toward
The tide the rope
Is around my middle
Pulling me under
Into the sea
Full of people
Each seeking shore

To yell to scream
Their message
Their hope
We are all lost in this ocean
Tied together
By this rope

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