Shin deep,
hands filled with flailing
suffocating fish
I see dark shadows
and call others to see.

Wrist to elbow long,
they dart skilfully,
herding their prey toward the shore
where then they must either turn into the waiting jaws
or die flipping
ever more slowly
on the rain damp

chasing whitebait.
Sea bass chasing them the fishermen say
and maybe dolphins
at the rear
beyond our ken
surging through the cold deep blue.

What would I do if I were whitebait?
Would I be herded to the shore
to suffocate
gull food?
Or would I break ranks and wriggle through the oncoming
of fin attack?

I wish I could say I would do the latter;
bravely swim into the storm head on
facing my predators boldly
staring their destruction in their cold hard eyes,
taking arms against battalions.

Rather I fear that I would
follow the shoal
to a sure and flapping, breathless death,
washed up together
a silver line
soon to be washed
from the tidal shore.

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