One That Got Away

I learned to fish with fellows
who impressed themselves with lies.
Their tongues plumbed deeper
than the green reaches.

'Snatch, snatch, ' they advised, sucking roll-ups.
I snatched, and failed to snag a loose lipped shape.

'You missed a feckin' monster.
You'll never be a fisherman.'
I learned not to fish
and never was a fisherman.

Damp disillusion wicked and crept through
this boy.
They smoked on, cast on, criticised and thought
they'd had a good day.

We slung and slung our hopes against the current,
tramped home;
emptied.

Fat moon on black water glinted snide white.

by James Mills

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