‘Full fathom five thy father lies; of his bones are coral made; those are pearls that were his eyes’ - The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2
I went to the seabed, Father, to recover you, bring you home.
I had a small chest inscribed, lined with velvet, placed in my study awaiting your remains. The coral bones I saw in my dreams – they were pink structures, miniature blooming trees – bonsai cherries from a Japanese willow plate – as mysterious as you were in life to me.
I knew you would not breathe, still, I could marvel at your exquisite inanimate blush, undeniably there in the box on my desk – that would be enough.
As for the pearls, that’s a different story – I couldn’t have your eyes always looking at me. I planned to have them fashioned into fine jewellery. They were to be sold – yes – I would send your eyes out into the world, so you could see anew things of which I was never told – the way a girl’s blushes spread slow heat across her chest. All these plans I had to resurrect you.
But when I went to the seabed, Father, I couldn’t find you. Nothing organic remained. There was coin aplenty – but no coral and no pearls – no oyster. The reef all destroyed. Oh there was coin alright, of every denomination – pounds sterling, Euros, dollars, yen and some I had never heard of. There were all the spoils of a shipwreck – silver tableware, signet rings, watches. I could not find you there
but I admit, I did fill my pockets – let’s call it my inheritance.
Georgia Hilton is an Irish poet and fiction writer living in Winchester, England. She has a pamphlet, I went up the lane quite cheerful, and a collection, Swing, both published by Dempsey and Windle. Twitter: @GGeorgiahilton.