fishing trip

sometimes dad took me fishing
to his favourite spot
the south bank of the river
opposite the old brewery

we’d cycle over there
set up on the bank
and sit side-by-side
minding the floats
thumbing bread into pellets
(one for me, one for the fish)
the river and the morning
sliding past

it was quite a spot
thrilling, in a groin-aching way,
to feel such a bulk
of water running
so close to my feet

we’d sit for hours
till dinnertime at least
not saying much
putting my ear
to the grill
of the maggot tin
to hear them rustling
or shielding my eyes
from the sun
to watch the swifts
flash low on the water
dipping, turning
embroidering the air
with their screams

strange, to think dad
was my age then
he seemed so old
such a part of things
stranger still to think he’s dead
or that anyone dies, come to that
lying awake at night
going over thingsbrewery
how a river feels
sliding just a hand’s width
from the waggling
soles of my boots

2 thoughts on “fishing trip

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