Updated: Mar 16, 2019
Off island shores in Ago Bay,
The Ama mermaids dive all day,
Looking for the pearls.
No tackle, trim, no weights; just mask
And clean white suits for this wet task
Endowed to the girls.
The song of poets, legend old,
Before your eyes will now unfold:
Women of the sea.
Treasure-seekers before the dawn
Gathered, launch and then are gone
Under waves, set free.
Will daughters follow in this quest,
Give themselves for the search to wrest
Harvest from the deep?
Is the pearl—shellfish pain redeemed—
Worth sacrifice of lives esteemed
More vast than this leap
Into marvel-filled tradition,
The fulfilling of a mission
Shared around the world?
Ama-goya walls hold fire
Warming those who still desire
Future sojourn, pearled.
Rebekah Pringle Yamada
(c) February, 2019