Pull in the nets,
swollen from seven passes off the Gulf.
White boots squeak on wet deck,
knots loosen and shrimp slide
out of twine, onto wood.
What rolled underfoot
now buzzes with shell and fin.
Sorting bins fill with overs and unders.
Lemon fish are swept into the hold for bait.
Stingrays flop to the sides
and are shoveled over,
reminders that days could be worse.
Jack Bedell is currently a Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems, Call & Response, Come Rain, Come Shine, What Passes for Love and At the Bonehouse, all published by Texas Review Press (a member of the Texas A&M Press Consortium). He recently returned from a wonderful week at the Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers’ Conference.