what do we do
with the fish
when it dies
the child asked
from his seat
behind me
in the canoe

his grip tightened
on the green and pink
plastic rod
as he cast the barbed line out
over the brown creek

my thoughts drifted
to the lake last summer
the rainbow trout
tossed on the grass

the tail flaps
gills open, close
then lift once more

shimmering shades of
sunset on the scales
dim to twilight and
the flashing onyx eye

how can I tell you, child
that first
we weep

~ Catherine McLaughlin

Catherine McLaughlin recently celebrated 35 years in the Peace Country. The land has always felt like home for her and she responds with her pen, her camera and her heart. She writes non-fiction articles for newspapers and magazines. Catherine’s poetry has been published in many collections, anthologies and special publications. Twice she toured parts of central and southern Alberta, sharing her Peace Country poetry and photography with seniors, high school students, community groups and a women’s conference. Her poetry has also been recognized in numerous contests, including the People’s Poetry Fall Contest (1999) and Expressivo (2000) sponsored by Oliver Music and Edmonton Stroll of Poets.

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