(Bridget Cox Bishop, 1848-1912)
By Geoff Budden
J Cox and his five sons
lost in their boat off
the Harbor April 24, 1859.
When their dory failed to make it
she was the girl on the shore;
witness to the opposite of a miracle.
We sing of the men who rant and roar;
who sailed up Golden Bay;
whose dreams survived the night.
But what of Bridget?
what song or faith could comfort her
that Easter Sunday in 1859?
In time she became
a fisherman’s wife, a mother,
a maker of fish and of homes
but always barometer-haunted,
anxious with every rising wind:
Living and dying in saltsprayed houses;
the ocean, murderous and grey,
Oceans of tears; dreaming of waves,
of fathers and sons and of unburied brothers,
of things endured, of things survived.
Artwork by Jackie Benney. Published with permission of the artist.