Standing Tall

"Standing tall
A beacon in storm.
Hope for souls in fright."

Thus was inscribed
on the foundation stone,
Of an old lighthouse;
unused now,
no longer burdened with
the responsibility of leading ships home.
It lay abandoned, uncared;
No longer a hub of activity.
No longer remembered.
Except perhaps on a specific day.

A day when, many years ago
Tall columns of clouds
Had suddenly swamped the skies
The sea had turned ominous
The waves, murderous.
In the darkness of the night,
The stormy sea had risen high
Aiming to consume the trawler
To its deep confines.
Lurching dangerously
The trawler and its two occupants
Had braced for the worst.
The dark night
Had them in a grip, tight.
The frenzied winds had
Hit them with all their might.
Home seemed nowhere in near sight.
In absence of guiding stars
Reaching the shores, they realised
Would be a tall order.

When all had seemed lost
And fate seemed intent to do its worst.
Through the darkness
the duo perceived a glimmer of light.
The lighthouse that day had stood tall.
Amidst the darkness and squall
To port, it had the trawler brought.

In remembrance of that day
They come each year;
A sailor's cap on their head.
Bent with age now,
And with wrinkles
that hide the smell of sea in its folds.
Touching the walls
They mutter heartfelt gratitude
To the old lighthouse
For having saved them
on that fateful day.
In front of the foundation stone
They bend low
To place a bouquet of flowers in obeisance.
Then back to their lives, they go.
The lighthouse remains,
Still looking at the horizon,
Perhaps reminiscing
And with pride
Standing tall. 

Copyright @ Goutam Dutta

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