Poetry

Death of a Fisherman

ROBIN DURNFORD

From Half Rock, by Robin Durnford. Published by Gaspereau in 2016. Durnford’s chapbook, Fog of the Outport, was the subject of a 2013 CBC Land & Sea documentary. She lives in Corner Brook, NL.

because the drug’s unknown

he’s rowing with bed rails on sheets

sail-taut where the sea should be.

he bails the mattress, tiles

toss him, he feels his gut

when they unhook his pride,

IV’s where the fish should be.

he’s almost ashore, he rolls

smokes with his tongue

as he fights another wave,

coughing up a lung, squall-

eyed into the light again,

scalloped ears hear the tides

through the night monitor,

wants the anchor pulled

as the nurse handles the rigging,

dropping the sails, casting

her line into his blood,

he lets go as she pulls on

the motor, but he drifts

dangerous and strong

until he guns her

offshore to his banks

grand Elysium

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