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Kieran Egan



While we have responsibilities

the days scrape layers off us,

which reduces the reliability

of our witness.


Winter doesn’t help;

my own reports to the authorities about fish—

in indoor tanks and outdoor pools and seas—

are accounts of losses.

Reasonably I blame power cuts and hungry herons and greed,

but the authorities are unforgiving.


I am not allowed solace in the survival of the herons,

nor other waters where fish thrive—

because, I am accused, there are none—

nor the damp branches in the forest,

nor the cold stubbled grass,

nor the humps of stone on the hillside that stick out of the soil,

nor the ice-speckled sun, nor the maculate seas,

nor the cold, which may not cease this time.

About the Writer

         Kieran Egan lives in Vancouver, Canada. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Quills (Canada), Literary Review of Canada, Dalhousie Review (Canada), High Window (UK), Orbis (UK), Raintown Review (USA), Envoi (UK), Shot Glass Journal (USA), and The Antigonish Review (Canada).

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