The Mermaid and the Thief of Seas

Thrown overboard, or did he leap?
Perhaps a storm tore through to sweep
this hapless chap right off his deck
or dashed him in a crashing wreck,

she wonders while they slowly sink
from hazy waves above the brink
where sharks and shadows hide and seek
and skeletons, if they could speak,

would warn all sailors not to dive
for no one here escapes alive
with treasure chests of pearls or gold
as fabled yarns of yore foretold.

Her fingers feel no pulse in kind
as notions swim and skim her mind.
Suppose she breathe him back to life.
Imagine if he had a wife.

What good would he then be to her?
She schemes intrigues. Temptations blur.
She probes his pockets as she plots
and grabs a gem.  Her stomach knots:

this pirate did defraud her clan!
He feigned the famished fisherman
who starved a week without one fish
and prayed to eat - his dying wish

and so they brought him to their lair
then lavished him with feasts and care
while he beheld their sacred jewels,
that traitor among trusting fools.

So when they slumped deep into sleep,
he thieved what was not his to keep.
Relaxing grips, she lets him drift
where currents verge and waters shift

to take that face she yearned to kiss
now frigid in this wet abyss.
One instinct shouts, "Let him depart!"
But it's too late:  he stole her heart.

The Mermaid and the Thief of Seas © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

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239 words.  Mermaid image challenge (mermaid holding a well-dressed man seemingly drowning underwater) prompt - link:
Submitted: April 26, 2020