On a tropical island they captured a girl.
She was beautiful, skin and hair iridescent. She was locked up. The purer she stayed, the higher price she’d command.
From the hold the girl sang. Words unknown and yet understood: loneliness, bereavement, yearning.
Her song curled into the pirates’ minds until they wasted away, tears mingling with the sea-spray. The ship drifted on, steered by music, until reaching land.
The harbourmaster unlocked the hold, finding nothing inside but a bejewelled bird.
It filled his ears with triumphant song. Then, still singing, it flew out and disappeared southward over the waves.
Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission