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No. 40 (September 1962)
– 4 –

When I of Fish Eat

When I of fish eat; when, with knife and fork,

I break the tender segments of flesh within my plate

I feel the pulling back. Strong I feel it;

Pulling me back to my forefathers,

To shores not yet trodden by white men.

It is, then, not a mere eating of the flesh,

A delighting in the sensual taste.

It is, for me, more than this: it is a revelation.

The sea surges before me, washing upon long shores;

Heaving against jagged rocks; as it did of old.

And this sea holds more than just its beauty,

Its aboundingness. It is something sacred;

It is like a parent to me. For think I then

That the sea was my forefathers' very existence.

Fishermen were they. From the sea came their very life.

This then is what it is when, with knife and fork

I lift a morsel of fish to my mouth.

rowley habib