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Gone Fishing

Ailbhe Darcy

War. And one fierce girl

will not take the bait.

She swims off to stop it,


leaves me dangling, thumb-sucking,

plucking patterns from tea leaves,

scanning advice slips from bank machines,

clutching at strings.

I’d swing

from the cat’s cradle of clouds

crossing borderless skies

if I believed it would catch

and knit me

into any design;

I’d loop-the-loop,

crossing, recrossing truths.

But it all comes loose. Nets become sieves,

knots become loops.

I feel that old slack

no certainty to pull taut

make sing, draw back 

that girl-fish

or tightrope out and join her

stitched fast to a bridge 

over the Tigris. 


From The Wolf 10 (Summer 2005)