“Word Skin” and other poems by Órla Fay

Excellent words


The Fish

after Elizabeth Bishop

Fragile as a rainbow,
silvery, iridescent she cannot be caught.
Some say she is the mother of the salmon run
and some say she goes with them
only to remember,
afraid that one day she could forget
the stream of consciousness she came from.
It’s not enough to say that she got lost
or that she found herself lost
and yet she did find herself when she was lost,
out in the wilderness of the vast ocean
panicked and spluttering in the shock of its depth
(this the same woman who had walked along the pier
daring the engorged waves to sweep her away.
My God, I had thought remembering the vision
of The French Lieutenant’s Woman)
Stunned by the wideness of the world
she stayed in it for years, alabaster in the moonlight,
perfectly still in the starlight,
unnoticed with briny…

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