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The Pirate

by Ken Poyner

  Fall 2013 Fiction, Memoir & Poetry Anthology  |  Contents  |  Authors  |


It is the fish, stupid.
The fish that come into the rich
Tan waters of our shore, bathing in hollow
Sunlight, gathering the shallow sea’s life
To grow into commerce, and markets
Filled with simple, uncomplicated
Commodities. The fish
Do not know they are inside anyone’s
Territorial waters. A small
Outboard motor pasted on what, thick generations ago,
Would have been a dugout canoe:
And the dumbest of fisherman
With the flimsiest of nets
Can, by watching for fish signs,
Load his boat with enough harvest
To make a small joy inside of our shared poverty.
Or once could.
Now our nation’s territorial waters
Have no Navy to protect them and
The factory ships with mile long nets
Scour the ocean, roll in the fat fish
Without ever seeing them, ground them
Into their cavernous holds. Nights you can see
Their lights like burial fires
Calling home the witnesses of death.
There is no one to chase them away, and so
It is the fish, stupid.
No fish: but there is still a family, a taste
For cigarettes and beer, a nephew
To bring up in the family trade.
One of us has a plan.


end of story

© 2013, Ken Poyner Go to top