The Fish who failed to Scream
By NoŽl Sweeney
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

The Fish who failed to Scream
By NoŽl Sweeney

He threw the line that fooled the fish
The rusty hook caught the bream
He could hardly see her struggle
Part of the joy of his serene dream
As he overcame her strength
By the rising line and his length
Catching her silver scale in the stream
He was secretly glad fish do not scream

The bent hook curled around her throat
The time was right for his lucky strike
Close on the surface he grabbed her
The prize was a splashing thrashing pike
He found her fight added to the delight
Using his power and all his might
Catching her silver scale in the stream
He was secretly glad fish do not scream

He threw the lasso into the river
Intent on catching another carp
His jagged hook and line and sinker
Reflected his mind blunt and sharp
Like the last throw of a cardsharp
Wanting to make sure he got that carp
Catching her silver scale in the stream
He was secretly glad fish do not scream

Intending on ending with a perky perch
He stood close to the fast waterís ledge
His line got caught in a drooping birch
That dragged him to the snagged edge
Losing balance he slipped on the bank
A crooked hook in his tongue as he sank
Angler and line swinging in the stream
Both gripped beneath the vice slipstream

Beneath the water open-mouthed
Bubbles killed his fish-like shout
The perch was dragged down and out
While the angler was dragged all about
The spreading pain shot through him
His life flashed in a nightmare scheme
Echoed by his heart-rending scream
Followed by scream-after-scream

In that moment he lost all doubt
About the cold-fish-no-pain shout
The angler so often used to spout
A different time and a different theme
Drowned as if he was another bream
Sinking as no one heard his stifled scream
Like catching her silver scale in the stream
His heart went boom-boom-boom
Seeing the crashing flashing watery tomb
No longer secretly glad fish do not scream

*****

NoŽl's book: Blue-bird sings the Blues

The Fish who failed to Scream


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