The oldest lobster fisher in the world says she might as well keep doing it

For Virginia Oliver, age 101

The boat may fiddle and drift a bit nowadays
as it carves into the silver lines of the marsh.Bubbles float in shallow water over sand and rocks. Marsh plants and clouds are in the distance
Fishing for 93 years has leathered her hands, but she’s
undaunted by the skirmish of wire traps and sodden ropes,
still loves the hush of reeds in the breeze,
tells time by the clink of the ship’s bell.

I stare at the unweeded garden
and think about all I have not kept doing.
What I walked away from as a child because
I couldn’t stand being bad at things.
I want to toddle back there and
peek over the kitchen counter,
eyes ablaze with excitement
and a willingness to fail.

There must have been lobsters that fell out,
slipped her grip and plunged back into the sea.
Maybe she didn’t mind. She could come back tomorrow.
As the years went on, the weight of what she did do
mounting and clattering in the dusk.

Originally Published in Thimble Literary Magazine, Vol. 5 No. 1