Message in a Bottle

By Geraldine Bane

Washed out from the shore

It bobbled up & down in the water,

Slowly disappearing to the sea

It was his only hope, of a door

To civilisation opening & giving

Him back his life

Before it sank his boat was his

Refuge, he sailed without a care

Now six months later he stood

On the beach & all he could do was stare

The message in the bottle could save him,

Inside he drawn a map he’d given all his details

And prayed as he carefully sealed the cap

The bottle travelled slowly

On its journey through the sea

It met every kind of sea creature

None of whom saw it as a key.

It was the key to his survival

It was how he might be saved

How he’d be taken home to safety

To the family that he craved.

And then one day it happened

The bottle reached a shore

It nestled on a coastline

And it could do no more but wait

And wait, & wait so still

Till a dog came sniffing by

And curiosity made his trail go mad

And his owner gave a sigh

She found the map & read the note

And did all she could do,

The services took it seriously

And searched the islands through

After some time they came ashore

To where they saw some tracks

No one lived there ever

And they were tempted to go back

But just then a searcher cried out

There was a shelter down below

And they made there way through undergrowth

As fast as they could go.

A pungent odour greeted them

The smell of real decay

They marvelled at the shelter

And the very clever way, that he’d created

A refuge in the wilderness

A place to keep him safe

But their hearts swelled with

Disappointment, when they realised

That they were late

His body was decayed & gone

Bones picked clean, were on the floor

There was no book, no diary

Nothing to tell his story

No record of his plight

Nothing to relate his struggle

Or tell of his daily fight.

All there was, was that smell

Oozing through the air

If only the winds were stronger

Then that message would have made it there.

Made it in time to save him

To bring him safely home

But now his shattered body

Was laid there beneath a stone.