A new poem by Vincent O’Sullivan.
Once in my life I’ve been fishing. A brother-
in-law assured, ‘You don’t need to talk out there,’
so we didn’t. After an hour or so he lifted
this reluctant silvery strip
from its hook and walloped its head against
the ridge of the dinghy we sat in for those
aeons of hours off Rat Island, as some
people called it, this acre or so
of shallow crumbling yellowy cliffs
off the Herne Bay coast. That was fishing for me.
Oh, and another larger fish with scales
a bit like threshing diamonds racked
in the cradle of the dinghy until its life
went phut, a wet doused candle.
But until it did its heart I suppose it was
tossed about in rage at air dreadful
as water might be for us. Until ‘fishing’
stopped and it may as well have been a sock.
‘Once’ is from Vincent O’Sullivan’s forthcoming poetry collection Things OK With You? and is featured in The VUP Home Reader, a free ebook.
The Friday Poem is edited by Ashleigh Young. Submissions for The Friday Poem are currently closed and will reopen in May 2020.
Subscribe to The Bulletin to get all the day’s key news stories in five minutes – delivered every weekday at 7.30am.