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 Fishermen at Ballyshannon
Netted an infant last night
Along with the salmon.
An illegitimate spawning, A small one thrown back To the waters.
But I'm sure As she stood in the shallows Ducking him tenderly Till the frozen knobs of her wrists Were dead as the gravel, He was a minnow with hooks Tearing her open.
She waded in under The sign of the cross.
He was hauled in with the fish.
Now limbo will be A cold glitter of souls Through some far briny zone.
Even Christ's palms, unhealed, Smart and cannot fish there.

by Seamus Heaney
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