i. GRAVEL PIT
A subdued thump as he opens the boot.
The car’s suspension sags. A slalom
of mud-stiff laces. As we set off, I listen
to the square maraca of the tackle box.
Our rods, part javelin, part curtain-rail,
shiver in lockstep with our path up to the swim.
And then I’m ten years old, watching
as he threads a needle through the sleek,
tense chain-mail of a frozen roach.
But now I start to understand why this
must be a skill he’s always wished we’d shared,
as his finger lets go of the see-through line
and float, bait and hook are airborne
in the long, languid lasso of his cast.