Early morning thieves steal forth from Lockerbie
enticed by rumored mermaids to the east.
Their quiet passage briefly noted in the air
by the former lighthouse keeper,
too old to have anyone to warn.
His morning mug full of the squall
and tempests of yesteryear,
his heart stowing away in the knapsack
of the shortest roustabout.
He gathered no respect from his fellows
for his arm, nor for his steady countenance,
but for the unlikely sweetness of his singing voice.
The second eldest had even been known to note
the sway of his true love’s hips at the sound
of the demur one’s refashioned canticle.
Her heart, though, cannot be deterred
from its original path by some wayward beat.
She weeps into her laundry and sincerely
decries mermaids, merchants, and mercurial moods.
The leader of the expedition is unburdened
by such distractions. His knees bend only
for treasures, his eyes glint only
for the gleam of jewels and doubloons.
He is a veritable thieve, whilst the others
are at best humble connivers.
He cares not for lighthouse keepers,
lonely songs, or lovers, or even
lost mermaids, only the plunder
that might be had from such endeavors.So the morning moves into day.