finished (another tall story)

when I was
a boy

not more
than a child
allowed
to wander alone

a rod
and a line
a tangle just waiting
were companions to me

the dog
sometimes
as well
on a small walk
from home

to a small creek
that ran through
the town

where there were
sometimes
small fish
in small pools
that a small boy
might catch

oh
joyous accident

oh happy
day

and the creek
when it passed me
singing
its gurgle-song
rolled
away from me

down
into the valley

beyond eldorado
and the steep
woolshed falls

all the way
down
to the murray

that mightiest
river

the place
where the big fish
might lie
in secret
by a log

where the big fishermen
played out
their lures
or baits
of bardy grubs

strategically plotting
a way
around the obstructions

where grandfather fish
the great cod
might hide

the art of enticement
takes a lifetime
to learn

it begins
with a boy
and a dog
and a line

sometimes in tangles

and the flow
of good water
for miles

and
for miles

I’m sorry

this is only a story
that can’t happen now

for the creeks
and the rivers
and the life that was fish
is all gone

there will be
I suppose
old photographs
on old mantelshelves
to tell
what the fishing pursuit
once comprised

and perhaps
if you tap
me

with my old
fading
memory

I’ll tell you a story
you might think
make-believe

of a small boy
and his items
most sundry
of entanglement

casting a line
always
poorly baited
into a small pool

where sometimes
a small fish
might help itself
to a small bite

fishing
we called it

but
it sounds just like
a tall tale
to someone
like you
I suppose

~

19 thoughts on “finished (another tall story)

  1. As I read the poem, I thought it was going in the direction of using fishing as a metaphor for growing up and becoming part of the larger world. When the shift to the destruction of the boy’s world came, it was a shock. I didn’t see it coming, which, of course, is a metaphor in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

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