Queen of the Sea

She hauled her human load

slowly up the coast

of eastern Sri Lanka,

leaving Columbo at dawn

laden with gifts

for a new year.

The final vision of its

one thousand passengers

was waving palms,

endless sand,

undying sun.

When the tsunami came,

the eight cars took to the air, rolling

landing, scattered,

half-submerged in pools,

Suitcases littering the earth like crumpled paper

beneath an author prone to error.

The next day, the bodies

were scooped into a hole,

blessed by a Buddhist,

their picture IDs

smiling from a table

at a local police station,

still seeking their loved ones.

From a Dec. 29, 2004 Associated Press article by Christopher Torchia.

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About Don Seiffert

I'm a reporter and writer in the Boston area.
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