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Le Port, La Turballe 2020

When I walked down to La Turballe
    this morning, in my mask,
I saw the fishermen come in
    from their lonely night-time task
from their lonely night-time task, and stack
    in boxes on the quay
the creatures they had killed, which were
    now lunch for my midi.

It was a sparkling scene, the scales
    still glittering in the sun
which rose while I was standing there
    as though to join the fun
as though to join the fun I stood
    and watched for half an hour
and thought how if I were a fish
    Id have it in my power

to feed the hungry race of man
    by dying in agony
and what a massive privilege
    that fate would surely be
that fate would surely be, I told
    myself, but deep inside
quite suddenly, the oceans seemed
    a holocaust I cried

because the myths we tell ourselves
    permit such genocide
and yet I feared Id still enjoy
    fresh daurade, grilled or fried
fresh daurade grilled or fried? Perhaps
    if I that fish could be
Id much prefer instead to stay
    finloose and fancy free

and left to swim in peace and pride
    to the sixth or seventh sea
(although of course a shark might choose
    to make a meal of me).

Tom Vaughan

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Tom Vaughan would be pleased to hear them.

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