The storm had unleashed its fury,
In gales, on the night before,
Had scribbled its bitter story
All over a battered shore,
For there lay the yacht ‘Imagine’,
Cast up on the outer reef,
Its sails and its stays were sagging,
And shredded beyond belief.
I scrambled over the rocks out there
When the tide left it high and dry,
In hopes that I’d find my friend, Jo Bère,
Unhurt, though I don’t know why.
Jo Bère was such a mountainous man
And so much larger than life,
He’d sailed through many a perfect storm
On board, with his restless wife.
So when I clambered aboard that day
I heard her calling my name,
And something about her pitiful cry
Said nothing would be the same.
I found her down on the cabin floor
All bruised, and somewhat distressed,
The storm had shattered the cabin door
And left the cabin a wreck.
I said to Dawn, ‘you outlived the storm,
But where is my friend, Jo Bère?’
She said, ‘He fell overboard last night,
I looked for him everywhere.’
Though she was bruised, there wasn’t a cut,
Just thrown around in the flood,
So what was the smear on the locker there,
The ominous sign of blood?
‘He must have fallen and hit his head,
I can’t remember, I swear,
The yacht was tossed and my husband lost,
He must be floating out there.’
I knew that she was a restless wife
She’d often give me the eye,
I knew their marriage had been in strife,
Could never figure out why.
But now she reached and she held my hand
And gave it a gentle squeeze,
‘My husband’s gone, but my life goes on,
I’ll always be here to please.
You must know, I’ve always cared for you,’
I said, ‘Don’t ever go there,
Because, to me, you will always be
The wife of my friend, Jo Bère.’
Her face grew dark, and I saw the spark
Of an anger, much like a storm,
She didn’t take to rejection well,
And I should have been forewarned.
I turned to leave so that I could grieve
The loss of my friend, Jo Bère,
Then saw on the floor the bloodstained axe,
With clumps of my old friend’s hair.
She leapt for it, but I got there first,
And I stamped it, down on the floor,
Then Dawn was wild, like a crazy child,
She came at me, tooth and claw.
‘I never thought you would ****** him,’
I cried, while beating her off,
She screamed, ‘You’re not going to put me in,’
And then she started to laugh.
A high pitched laugh that was like a scream
As I clambered over the side,
Just as the sea was flooding in,
Right at the turn of the tide.
She must have known that she’d have to pay
When I told them, creed and rote,
For I heard them say, the following day,
‘That woman has cut her throat.’
David Lewis Paget