A Native of Florida's Reefs
I am the native of the Florida Keys and Bahamas
People here call me mero and not goliath grouper
Once a scuba diver caught and held me beside the boat
Half out of water with hook in corner of my mouth.
Looked at my five-haired beard trailing from aching jaw
Brown skin hanging in strips like ancient wallpaper
Shaped like full-blown roses stained and lost in age
Was frightened by gills breathing in terrible oxygen.
He gazed and gazed with pride and triumph in eyes
Don’t know what happened to him, he let me go!.
I was only six years then and got a long life of fifty
Travelling to Flamingo and Shark River, our Mecca.
Wonder as scuba divers are not seen in native waters
As to catch us in US waters has been declared illegal
Please do your bit signing online petition to fishing ban
Curb your desire to make money or just the fun for it
*Inspired by Fishing Ban laws
Dr. Ram Mehta
Third Place win
Contest: Personify Any Animal of your choice by Just That Archaic Poet