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Spring Fishing (poem)

A punt on the shore of Lough Corrib Baurisheen

Spring Fishing

Am I in a trap?
Did I build it myself?

The punt bobs on the waves between Broochen and the point of Fournaugh
This is no weather for fishing; no weather for anything bar the

Seat next to the Stanley and the kettle hissing for tea
And the steam of decades sunk in dust and debris

Am I in a dream?
Is it my dream?

The oars dip in and out of the cold rolling still-winter water
Tufted ducks scatter over the Sandy as workers over

Those bridges in London built thick for the traffic
By which you once waited past six while I darted

Are you still coming?
Where will you go?

The oars squeak against the gunnel where the hand-carved oar-pins are fixed
Worn as smooth as my numb hands are rough, like

The creases of sea seen from the steel Ferry stern
While the hull cut a furrow through all that I learned

Am I still open to the air?
Can I hear the quietness out there?

The rod bends suddenly with the pull of brikeen-hooked trout
Just as I cross the Sandy’s shallow at the point where

Currents of no return meet currents of no surrender
And I am spring fishing

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