Pearl Divers

Updated: Mar 16, 2019

Pearl Divers

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