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Waiting For Fish






Squads of sea lions,

bored and hungry,

slide past cars of

indifference, past a

bridge built to withstand

earthquakes.

They await a run of

herring, flash and wheeling,

to churn among the waves.

Until then

summer plunks its

days onto the world.

The fish are hiding

in the best cool place left.

Since the treaty the fleet

is smaller, boats which

lay ashore most of the year;

aluminum skiffs with awkward

outboards that breathe

blue smoke onto the water.

Hard eyed gulls sit on piles

of net to take naps. When

the herring rise to spawn the

Bay will smell of fish.


The fishermen are mostly old

enough to remember the dark

battles, the hard words &

sometimes rifle fire. They bring

nephews out for the day.

What hasn’t changed are prices

still set by a few buyers who

bear the same family names.

It’s a fixed game

but the only game in town.

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