Poetry by Helen Bowell
We called her 'the lucky fisherwoman': she, the magic hook
that reeled them in from where they did not swim. In secret,
we'd watch the spools swoon and spin, light-threaded in her
presence, the fish almost grateful to be coaxed from the cold
seabed. That boat rocked. She hauled rainbow trout, sea bass,
salmon, their scales flashing the uncertain spectrum you catch
cross the surface of oil. She hated every fish. And we loathed
the stench, the shaking boat, the tail thump, thump, thump,
thump, those shocked gasps as they drowned in air. The murder.
They disgusted, most of all. Something rotting on the lips. She'd
feel the maggots squirm past her lucky hips and hold themselves,
stiffly, there. Still, she did it. My mother, lucky fisherwoman,
never let one get away, pulls another splasher from the water,
guts it fast. She couldn't kid us for long: we know that hook
brought us up too. And maybe I'm imagining, but the buggers
just got slipperier and slipperier. Or maybe that was her.
Helen is a third-year English student who is trying to be a poet. She has had many influences over the years, notably Simon Armitage, Jonathan Safran Foer and the internet. She likes to keep herself busy as a member of the Writing Squad, president of Durham University’s Creative Writing Society, editor of the lit mag, From the Lighthouse, and by baking and playing the cello in her (very little) spare time.