In the Fishmongers

In the Fishmongers
All over the fish
and the knife that continues to work
and the marble slab
and her own red hands
the tears flow salt
like a sauce.

How is it the squared body trembles,
the dark head buries its raw nose
and starting eyes
in a rough roller towel?

Has she no escape
from this catch?
Must the knife continue to clean out
guts, bones, brains
until filetted
of emotion and female pride,
flat, cold on the slab
she can cease to weep and tremble?
Tessa Ransford

from Not Just Moonshine: new and selected poems (Luath Press, 2008)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
Tessa Ransford

‘No one has done more for the cause of poetry in Scotland ....' - poetry activist Tessa Ransford was the founder of the Scottish Poetry Library. 

Read more about this poet