Umi Written By: Jeremy Hu Her dark blankets of salt Sweep up the shore to carry away Little children at fault

Of going too far out to play. She haunts the barren coasts, As a story to scare children off. But I know a story of this ghost That nobody ever speaks of. Her grace was fearsome that day, Engulfed in agony and torment She rips herself apart in a fray; Waves bashing waves in atonement. Ears captured this wild fury Over an error in an ancient while, But failed to listen the foreign misery Of a mother losing a child. An exodus of striding feet Muralled the sand with prints of panic. Open arms wait on the shore to meet; To take them away from this dark magick. All scorn her vessel's sirens: One that warns all and mercies none Of a one-way trip to a world of orphans. All scorn, all except for one. One little boy stood in an eternal gasp Left behind amongst her battling tides. Held still by a silent grasp By an unfamiliar kinship, I must confide. One little heart yearning to leap out Out of a shivering prison of bones To finally find a voice to speak aloud To one who was just as alone. And he inquired, soft and low Of three questions so silly yet true. "Hey Miss Umi, why do you cry so?" And the maiden roared her dispelling rue. "Hey Miss Umi, why do you swell so?" And the maiden reared her scarved guard. "Hey Miss Umi, why do you hurt so?" And the maiden revealed her sacred heart. With that, her watery bricks crumbled And never was the boy seen again. Another victim; a routine tumble A fate to resign and left unamend. And would have remained a myth; A half-truth passed across hands, Of an unrelenting avenger's gift Of her vendetta towards the lands That was how I was told of its end By my father and his father before him, Until one day, walking along the sand

I saw one little boy sitting by its brim. He stared out at her who beckoned With eyes so hopelessly smitten. "Are you lost, child?", I reckoned. Of which he replied with but a word: "Listen". And he strode towards the maiden's open arms To wait in her warmth, away from their magick Just as she kept those prior safe from alarm As I finally realize a tale so tragic Why one little boy refused to change his stance Not in terror of this awesome force above Nor in a futile stand of resistance But because he was, very simply, in love. With a woman too great to ever contain in the heart of me A mother too melancholic to ever find glee A vessel known by many as the great misery A beauty known only to one as Umi.

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