An actual true story. It happened on New Smyrna Beach, Florida, the shark bite capital of the world. Something I forgot.

Shark Bait

On the beach in early October
my nose and mind in a book,
I saw the day
had gotten away
when I raised my head for a look.

My hubby and his pal had left me.
No beach buddies could be seen.
Just me and the sea
I said with glee
I feel like a mermaid queen!

The sun was setting low
as I waded and jumped the waves.
Like a child
I giggled and smiled
giving each wall of water raves.

Free from critical eyes
I let my body go.
Doing surf limbo
my limbs akimbo
I put on quite a show.

After I was wrung out and spent
I needed to take a rest.
I swam beyond
the waves to the calm
and did what I do best.

I lay out on my back
just like I was going to bed.
And there I floated
like a bloated
baracuda with a human head.

I floated until the sun
dropped behind the land
and stars made bright
the surrounding night
and reflected off the distant sand.

The sparkling of that sand
was my wakeup call.
It made me see
where I should be
and I wasn't there at all!

I'll admit to a little panic
as I kicked and stroked toward land.
It looked so distant
and my body was insistant
it couldn't cover the space I'd spanned.

But I remembered the sheer beauty
and the wonder of what I'd enjoyed.
So I called to God
and with His nod
I pushed onward with all skills employed.

Soon I was fighting the waves
as they rolled me onto shore.
I was deposited there
sand in nose and hair
laughing and wanting more.

The next evening I went again
to play like a kid in the ocean.
But just before
I left the shore
my husband nixed my notion.

"Honey, don't go out there
I can't believe you did that last night
See, theres thousands of fish
making a tasty dish
for all those sharks to share."

"Sharks! I don't see any."
So he pointed once again
and then I saw plenty
fifteen or twenty
fin after fin after fin!

A plane flew over head
hanging around our site.
Later a man
walked down to the sand
and said he'd been on that flight.

"We saw about 20 sharks
they were 8 to 10 feet in size
Its the most
seen on this coast
at least with this man's eye."

I thought of the night before
when I'd floated so far and so late.
Had the sharks been there?
Were they aware
of my presence as they ate?

I remembered all the fish.
There were thousands around my feet.
Had their rushed swimming
actually been stemming
from being someone's something to eat?

I had been right there.
Had I really tempted fate?
Did I break nature's laws
by floating with jaws?
Was I rejected shark bait?

Poetry by Phyllis J. Rhodes
Read 354 times
Written on 2009-11-13 at 00:12

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melanie sue
This is fantastical! As I read every line, I remembered my similar to what you just helpless, but salvaged flesh. I loved this!

I have never been swimming in the ocean but once and don't really have any desire to go back again. Great work Phyllis!

Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
It's nice to be rejected shark bait! Thank God!
I think the ocean is for the fish and all their kind. I will just stay on the shore and swim in the pool. You're a brave soul. YOu never know what's below ya in that ocean. In there you are considered food. Don't do that anymore. But, please keep writing these very fun and scary poems. : )

Stan Cooper

xxx Stan