Turneresque Dreams

Turneresque Dreams
(Painting and photo by kind permission of Mary Cox, )

The red sun on the horizon bathed the swell of the sea in scarlet….The little skiff floated upturned and broken on the waves. Bits and pieces of debris riding high on to the crests and disappeared from sight.
In the midst of the dark, a woman was struggling to keep her head out of the water. Bobbing up and down, the bottomless pit beneath her tugging and calling to her. And her little girl, she had hugged so tightly during the storm had been claimed by the water. Like all the others who had shared the illegal night time boat ride on their way to their promised lands.
She imagined her daughter adrift alone in that womb like void, her hands still reaching for her…
Lost were the dreams of a picture perfect existence. With little white socks and buckle shoes. A better life.
She had fought for years like a lioness to protect her from the pillaging bands of soldiers with madness in their eyes and machetes in their hands…saved her from rape and murderous rage. She had given herself to those animals, endured their penetrations and begged to collect the money for the passage.
Always the image in her head: A happy child with opportunities…

She had endured the trek over plains and jagged ranges, carrying the child, going thirsty and hungry, so she would have enough. Each dusty footprint forward, a distance to the horrors of her past became the sweet taste of freedom which propelled her onwards.
She was tired now of treading water, had no reason to fight to stay alive…all her hopes and aspirations ripped from her arms. Everything that made sense was gone. The oceans’ angry tides had calmed and she floated on her back, staring up to the heaven above. A salty tear trickled down her cheeks to join its massive cousin around her. The crimson light touched upon her, just then her face was taken by the water. With her last breath, her dream escaped her lips and for a brief second, like a photograph, there was her daughter smiling radiantly at her, dressed in her finest with those patent leather shoes and ruffled white socks. She smiled happily at the picture and was lost.
All around tinted in the red sunlight, little images of nurses, gardeners, cooks, teachers, students in cap and gowns, children playing, popped up momentarily on the dark waters…
Bodies facedown – gliding gracefully. As the sun slipped beyond the edge of the world and it all vanished without a trace.
Nothing but the little vessel remained …


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