Siren's Call

New England’s coastline is steeped in tales about sailors lost at sea. But what about their wives, the women left to grieve at its edges? At best, they’re fragments mentioned in passing conversations. Their threads, however, are just as significant.

During this weekend’s creative session, I noticed how the tango between distressed widow and sea-as-lover simply took over. The land was offering me a glimpse of past lives: the harrowing progression from sadness to an all-consuming madness that has anchored spirits to place. And the sea, that siren, continuously chides themnow, just their shadows for something amiss in the relationships with their long-dead husbands.

So what happens when one mixes the aforementioned theme with an old Cape Cod lighthouse perched on high bluffs and the natural elements of partly cloudy skies, a setting sun, and a full moon? A haunting by F.K. Garland as the Lady in Black at Highland Lighthouse, in North Truro, Massachusetts.

In dreams I call —

A barnacled ode

Of wild waves and windy shores.

 They come to me

In search of . . .

Purpose, connection, home.

 I cannot specifically say,

For each sailor

Seeks something different.

 But the roots —

Well, they start with you:

Their wives and sweethearts.

 There’s something amiss

Between both of you,

And I …

 Their sea,

Their siren,

Their true lover —

 Will be there for them

While you haunt edges

Of wild waves and windy shores.