“The Fisherman, the Gulls, and the Bible People” by Michael Estabrook

Michael Estabrook


I’m minding my own business trying to read
Leaves of Grass on the beach at about 9 a.m.
when these two guys with beards and long hair
and cigarettes dangling from their mouths,
these two fisherman, pull up in a motor boat.
They toss in an anchor, drag four really big
fish, two Sea Bass, I think, and two Blues,
onto the clean pure white sand and cut them
open. A pile of glistening red guts spills out
there for the gulls to get. Then next to me two
pretty young women with wispy blonde hair,
scanty suits, and a little blonde boy spread a
blanket and start rubbing suntan lotion all over
each other’s smooth backs and legs and
tummies (to drive me crazy no doubt). They
start talking all about the Bible reading they’re
planning for the Watch Tower people. Jesus.
The gulls, a whole flock of them, find the pile
of guts and begin squawking and flapping and
squabbling like people do and in a minute or
two the guts are all gone and so are the gulls,
leaving me alone here on this beach with these
two Bible people and the little boy.

from Rattle #23, Spring 2005

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