Diamonds [poem] by Shirley J. Brewer

—for Carlotta

You caught a fish with your bare hands
that summer in Colorado, showed me
how scales glitter in sunlight.

Dressed in Orvis and khaki, we laughed
over jeweled trout, the well-finned
wild fish of the West.

When a guide took us fly-fishing,
you soothed my grief over a lost love, said
trust the rhythm of your reach.

 Last week strangers searched for you
in the ocean where your plane went down.
No body, no closure, someone whispered.

I remembered the trout, its tiny eyes
so placid—part of the family
who knew your touch.

How can you be far away, my friend?
I trust you are safe in the sea,
diamonds alive in your palm.


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

Image by Urban Fly Fisher

Shirley J. Brewer (Baltimore, MD) is a poet, educator and workshop facilitator. She serves as poet-in-residence at Carver Center for the Arts & Technology in Baltimore. Her poems appear in SpillwayPassager, Gargoyle, Little Patuxent Review, The Comstock Review, Naugatuck River Review, and other journals. Shirley’s poetry chapbooks include A Little Breast Music, 2008, Passager Books, and After Words, 2013, Apprentice House/Loyola University.