Curse the Line
Curse the Line denial stories

rachelgrant Comments welcome!
Autoplay OFF   •   3 years ago
A poem about my ancestor's arrival in the New World

Curse the Line

When my great great grandmother

Crossed the great great sea

There was a child at her hip

And one at her knee.

The sea rocked the boat

And the boat rocked her

And she rocked the baby

With a warm whisper.

But the child went quiet,

Its eyes went dull,

And how she must have wept

In that dark damp hull.

That strange mix of love

As it mingles with horror,

Denial clenching her gut,

Her heart growing sorer.

How cruel of this death

To nip the bud of her line,

Away from the forest,

Away from the pine.

She had seen what they did,

With deaths such as this,

They were thrown overboard,

Lost to the abyss.

She thought of the monsters

In the swirling realm below,

And held her child tighter-

She couldn’t let go.

She looked at the thing

That her child had been.

The days wore on,

And its skin grew thin.

She kissed it grey head,

Caressed its sunken cheek,

And kept the ship’s sailors

From taking a peek.

She tucked little herbs

In the folds of its wrapping,

She held the thing close,

As if, her milk it was lapping.

When they finally arrived

In the land they’d acquired,

She could finally say

Her child had expired.

Only then did she finally

Put the baby to rest,

The first to be buried

On their new hill’s crest.

She must not have known

Her line was now cursed

To carry our dead

Till their bloated bodies burst.

We can’t let go,

We won’t put it to bed,

We toil and terry,

Holding on to what’s dead.

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