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.
Itâ€™s thrown back overboard to hunt
for more.Â 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.
Â© 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 calledÂ Fathom was published by Marble in 2021. She was a winner in the first Coast to Coast to Coast pamphlet competition with Messages. Â She blogs sporadically at www.rebeccagethin.wordpress.com.