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Picture 11086376, photograph, 1925, image copyright Mary Evans / Suddeutsche Zeitung

The Ancient Craft of Usho
by Rebecca Gethin

 

They tie a string round the gullet

of hunger to stop it swallowing

large fish it catches in its beak.

Then they haul it out of the water

and shake its prey into the boat bottom.

It’s thrown back overboard to hunt

for more.  Over and over again.

Smaller fish get through

the constriction in the gullet.

 

We read his test results

which show light chains in his blood

are rising to the surface

and he must keep diving

on the end of a line

into the depths of the drugs

that both keep him going

and do damage of their own.

 

To do this you need a permit

or a prescription.

 

 

© Rebecca Gethin

Picture 11086376, photograph, 1925, image copyright Mary Evans / Suddeutsche Zeitung

 

 

Rebecca Gethin has written six poetry publications. She has been a Hawthornden Fellow and a Poetry School tutor. Vanishings was published by Palewell Press in 2020 and a chapbook called Fathom was published by Marble in 2021. She was a winner in the first Coast to Coast to Coast pamphlet competition with Messages.  She blogs sporadically at www.rebeccagethin.wordpress.com.

 

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