fishing, history, poetry, reading

No Requiem for the Fisher Girls

Winslow Homer: The Fisher Girls on Shore, Tynemouth

1800s and early 1900s, 1000s of girls employed as fish gutters, followed the fishing fleets. The work was long and hard, the girls gutted the fish and the “guts were taken out with a very sharp gutting knife. Their fingers were wrapped in “clooties” – bandaged cloths to prevent any knife nicks – but they endured painful sore hands. 


No Requiem

Moonstone mounds of herring,
Quiver,
Torn from the belly
Of the Sea Mother.
Her baldy rolling, groaning,
Bleeds,
Foam fingers clawing,
Plead.

The herring girl,
Slits the guts.
Fish eyes pale,
Beseech,
Steel flick of entrails –
Fish eyes flat.
No requiem for them.

The stench of fish, her breath.
Beauty weathered.
Bright eyes tired –
Girl's eyes flat.

Her dreams float with
Dead fish in parsley sauce.
No requiem for her.

Winslow Homer – Fisher Girl

If you have enjoyed this content, then please browse my website and blog posts. You will find information on my many books and even a gallery with photos and slideshows of my artwork. Love, Katy.

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