The poem A Night in Fenwick mixes the emotions of imminent death with a life force of surprising strength. The poet puts it this way,
…we sit on the jetty, in denial
of the diagnosis you received today.
Darkly, silence passes between us.
Crabs click over the rocks.
The tang of salt surprises our lips
as we listen to the day’s last waves
rattle oarlocks in the dories off shore.
In the morning we will accept it…
In the poem Dory, Cook elevates death into the life’s natural goal. It becomes part of a grand bargain. Even without a paradisiacal afterlife of silver fish, it is sufficient. She begins,
Say something smooth
about a life long committed
Let the feathers fade.
Wooden dories dulled
by waves don’t want
netfuls of silver fish:
their rot-soft hulls
are enough. The callused feet
of old fishermen, enough.
For more of my review of Lake Effect go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2013/02/lake-effect-poems-by-christina-cook.html