Lobster Alchemy

August 1, 1999

Lobster Alchemy - Poetry of the Times

The bay looks like Christmas
with trap buoys sparkling
red and green on the flat black water.
Settled to the bottom
like an unhappy marriage,
splintered gray slats call
with hunks of discarded fish.
Lobsters split the mud, blue
prisoners of hunger, caught
in their hollow search.
But lobsters caged in the depths
give me hope: that on the muddy floor
of an icy bay, hearts beating like mine
can scuttle thoughtless into waiting traps,
and still transform what falls
into sweet, white flesh.

Dr. Berlin is in private practice in Lenox, Mass., and is associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His poems have won awards in the National Writers Union 1998 poetry contest and the 1999 Journal of General Internal Medicine medical creative writing contest.

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Read more of Dr. Berlin's work.