After The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop
I caught a fish and held him by the hull
and looked into his wide and clouded eye.
No tautness in the line, no flailing pull;
it seemed no fight was left – no will to try.
I looked again, and that was when I saw
a row of hooks all hanging from his lip.
The rusted metal grown into his jaw;
one nylon line still trailing where it ripped.
I thought about his brown and ragged scales,
as petrol pooled in rainbows round the boat,
and that was when I knew that I had failed.
The fish was freed and swam away to gloat.
I tied my raft securely to the quay
and had a vegan ready meal for tea.