after the painting Fishing Catch, Lin Fengmian,(China)
Perhaps the fisherman reaches for his knife
to free the mackerel tangled in the net,
the ones thrashing to slip through the trellised knots.
With his fingers cracked by the brine off Inishbofin,
he glances at his daughter to free them,
her nimble thumbs like hungry gulls.
The oiled-skin currach won’t topple. What’s caught
won’t be lost. Emptied, the ribs of the boat dry
in the wind. The net, slung over both their shoulders
and carried homeward, suffers nothing to repair.
D. Walsh Gilbert is the author of Ransom (Grayson Books, 2017). A Pushcart nominee, she has received honors from The Farmington River Literary Arts Center and the Artist for Artists Project at the Hartford Art School and was recently named the winner of The Ekphrastic Review’s 2021 “Bird Watching” contest. Her work is forthcoming in Canary and has recently appeared in Montana Mouthful, Entropy, Third Wednesday, and the anthology, Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, among others. She serves on the board of the non-profit, Riverwood Poetry Series, and as co-editor of the Connecticut River Review.