Starr Cummin Bright
Apple Grove Press
P.O. Box 413
Unionville, PA 19375

Starr Cummin Bright © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

The Bale

Like the great weight on her shoulders
the hay bale tipped off the fork lift
performed a slow motion roll
end over end,
gathered speed,
careened through underbrush
to lodge in the river.

In a week, waterlogged,
it sagged within twine;
soon birds perched
for a better vantage;
in two months
grass sprouted,
then went to seed;
winter ice hung
off the downstream side.

Finally the bindings relinquished
the detritus to water’s flow.
Nature’s healing forces
gathered her up as well.

Fish Trap

A shadow in the dense pre-dawn water
turns into a flash of silver, as the fish slew sideways
suddenly visible as black speckled blue-backs
swarming en masse away from the push of the rising net.
The water roils:
heads, tails and bursts of swishy splashes.
As the net tightens, they rise to the surface,
blue green silver flying, darting in panic,
fear-driven search for an exit.
We gather them up;
the splash of salt water and scales
drenches my squint-eyed face
while their tail-thrashing sounds loud
against the noise-deadening fog.
As trays fill, fish pour over the edges,
they beat their tails against our rubber boots,
all-out efforts to return to the sea.
The filling skiff lists to the incoming side
where we lean out, netting them from the trap.
The catch complete, we steer back to the wharf
knee deep in mackerel,
their final tattoo thrumming the aluminum hull.