I don’t know how long I’ve been afloat. Days, a week, more. I stopped counting at seven. Well, I couldn’t remember what came after seven and it didn’t seem to matter anyway. Seven dwarfs, seven seas, seven wonders of the world, lucky seven, seemed a good place to stop.
My life raft was nearly deflated, it wouldn’t hold me up for much longer. My emergency food had run out days ago, I don’t remember when; maybe seven days ago. My fresh water was almost gone too.
I had a really good tan now, I think. I had burned, blistered, peeled then burned, blistered and peeled so many times. The first time I cried and screamed in agony. The second time I cried and wailed. The third and forth time I whimpered softly and then, somehow, it didn’t hurt anymore. I think I’m on my seventh peel now, and I barely even noticed; my skin becoming so tough and thick.
My feet became uncomfortable. I looked down to see they were covered in sea water, dark and gray. They were neither cold nor hot but, had that unpleasant pruning feeling you get when you stay in the bath too long. I wondered how long my feet had been under water.
An orange glow in the distance caught my attention. Hallucinating again I was sure. So far I’d sung Puff The Magic Dragon with Puff himself floating along beside me. When I asked him if he would carry me home, he disappeared.
Another time, the Angel Gabriel hovered just above me. I was cold and he wrapped his wings around my shivering wet body and warmed me. I fell asleep in his arms and when I awoke, he had disappeared too.
I made out luscious, tall palm trees; seven large ones right on the point. Breakers lapped lazily on what looked to be, a pink sand beach. It was dusk, the sky turned creamy orange marbled with the blackness of the coming night. The Island seemed to be moving closer to me, beckoning me. The rhythm of the soft roiling sea, broken into short breaths of ascending and descending waves, sounded real. Perhaps the Island was real. Perhaps I had not imagined it after all.
Bump! Something knocked into my rapidly sinking raft. Bump! Bump! My raft spun in a circle, taking on more salty ocean water. Bump! Bump! Bump!
Sharks circled me and what was left of my raft. I gazed longingly at the magnificence and promise of all the Island offered; as my raft succumbed and slipped beneath the clear, blue, pristine water.
The chamber was not far away, but seemed an eternity away as we walked the rugged path to where it sat on sacred ground, deep in the evergreen forest. My feet ached, were cut and bleeding but I closed my mind to the sensations that were not useful to me at the moment, and walked on fiercely serene with humility and reverence for those who had gone before me. This was the ultimate test.
Seven days without food or water. The days temperatures could reach one hundred and ten degrees Fahrenheit and the night temperatures dropped severely due to the high mountain range that surrounded us.
There were no blankets to use at all, no toilet and no water. Others have gone before me and made it. Others had not.
Hi everyone! I am deeply humbled and feel extremely honored that my poem, “I Am Not A Man” has been accepted by Spillwords.com for publication in their June issue. Thank you to Dagmara K. – Director of Development | Editing Department of Spillwords.com for accepting new authors and having the courage and forethought to promote growth, diversity and excitement within the realm of poetry.
Also thank you to Bartholomew Barker for sharing his published poetry from Spillwords.com, which introduced me to this publication.
I wrote this poem in response to the recent and very upsetting efforts of those in political “elected” positions to overturn Roe vs Wade.