Door Country fish boil

At the Door County fish boil 
you stand too close to the column of fire 
watching kerosene laced flames boil off the fish oil. 
You don’t wait you just put 
the too-hot flaky flesh 
between your lips. 
Ahead of you the aspen and the pine multiply 
and the white scut of a deer 
is a fuse lit and lit again 
drawing the hunter through the forest 
gun barrel grazing his hair 
when he looks up 
to tell time by the sky. 
Just outside the car park a grizzly 
flexes one heavy paw 
her long claws make a flirtatious arc 
against the ground. 
A timber wolf lopes with easy limbs 
around the empty sling of its stomach. 
You talk about the glut of cheese 
I pointlessly write down the name of the supplier 
then run through the words with thick lines 
hearing the fresh deep-fried cheese curds 
squeaking between your teeth. 
The thing is we are in different places 
me lightly here 
you there walking so hard 
you scare up a loon whose weird cry 
bounces like a tennis ball across 
so, so many lakes. 


Lynn Davidson is a Wellington writer. Her books include Mary Shelley’s Window (Pemmican, 1999) and the novel Ghost Net (Otago University Press, 2003). A new poetry collection, Tender, is due out soon.