...One night I asked who it was,
she said,”Just a man I used to know.”
She would never say more than that,
so I decided wisely to let it go.
But that night, like every other,
when midnight rolled around,
she walked along to the pier’s end
and stood staring without a sound.
I figured it was an old grief,
and did not want to interfere,
but one evening after many drinks
I stumbled, mindless, to the pier.
There I saw old Meredith
wrapped up in a tall man’s arms,
something about him just seemed off,
my drunken mind feared harm.
As I moved she turned and said,
“He does not like company.”
She shushed me and the two walked
onwards towards a quiet sea.
I thought I’d seen the tall man,
but from where, I couldn’t say,
and as I though I watched the two
walk off the end of the quay!
Rushing out, I looked below,
but no bodies could I see.
they did not lay upon the rocks,
or against pilings worn and slippery.
I raced back to the Walrus,
soon all the cops came out.
They dredged the short for three days,
but no bodies were ever found.
Some even suspected it was me,
but no charges came my way,
they combed the shore but found nothing
that indicated any foul play.
It was only later that I understood
just what I had seen that night,
the dead man in the old picture
had been on the pier in plain sight!
For so long she had gone out there,
hoping for the impossible,
it seems that in the end she got
her one wish granted in full.
She’d had no husband of lover
in the many years since his death,
but he’d come back to claim her
when she’d faced her dying breath.
Well, that was thirty years ago,
the tale has become folklore,
a thing whispered to tourist folk
all up and down the shore.
I took over the Wailing Walrus,
and have kept it much the same.
The tall, young man still hangs up high,
and there he shall remain.
But I did go to Meredith’s family,
and asked for a picture of her youth,
next to her lover it now hangs,
for all who would know the truth
Every so often some come here,
and say they saw in evening’s dim,
two figures walking on the pier,
who never seem to come in.
They say the figures just seemed off,
kind of wispy and quite pale,
so I sit them down, fix them a drink
and tell them this tragic tale.
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2018