Friday, October 31, 2008

                                                                                            Photo: Guy Gray

Taking apart the fish
          Greta Browne, 10/31/08

Praise be to the deep blue sea
Where silver creatures dart in dappled sunlight then
Take the proffered bait
Fight fiercely the relentless tug of the brown man's line

The immigrant who used to fish on another sea
Knows how to bring in his catch
With gentle words, "Venga, venga, linda creatura
Pescado plateado - ahora es mio."

Thank you silvery beauty for your life
- as I cut slits in your striped flanks
anoint you with oil from aromatic olives
sprinkle you with salt and pepper
stuff rings of onion in your pink cavity
slip you into the hot oven - 500 degrees -
until you are crisp and golden

We feast for two days
Thank you for such bounty
Then pick the fleshy bones for
Fishcakes with yogurt and horseradish

Finally we boil all that's left
Thank you for such bounty
The head and tail and bones for
chowder with corn and peas,
carrots, yams and butternut,
onion and garlic
soy sauce and rice noodles

We ladle the colorful soup into our lovely bowls
And taste the rich broth and tiny fragments of
Flaky flesh and mysterious innards
Sweet and rich and deeply satisfying
All praise to the deep blue sea.

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