the catch


The Catch
Kay Ryan
Among nets
some are stout
and cast by
sailors who
venture out
in boats and
talk of knots
and floats and
diesels and
gruesome accidents
to decent people.
Whereas the
nets approached
by birds and moths
and set by
Nabokovs in white
are lighter stuff
tied by threads
to branches
as though for sport.

A bird catches
like a shuttlecock.
In both events
what they get
only partly matches
what they sought
plus the problem
of the innocents.
One can admire
the common sense
it makes for sailors
who desire the
hardest, the most
backbreaking work,
the way you’re tired
and broken to dispatch
by the time it’s time
to justify the catch.

Photo by Frank Zhang on Unsplash