The smell of work


“Although it is a cold evening,

down by one of the fishhouses

an old man sits netting,

his net, in the gloaming almost invisible,

a dark purple-brown,

and his shuttle worn and polished.

The air smells so strong of codfish

it makes one’s nose run and one’s eyes water.’’

— From “At the Fishhouses,’’ by Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), a native of Worcester.

Preserved codfish.

Preserved codfish.