Fish and a Chippie
Fish and the chippie
(’chippie’ is a colloquial word for a carpenter, a term not quite as derogatory as ‘wood butcher’ )
Dad went fishing in Bridlington.
It was one of the things he did.
He would come back with tales of the tides.
The rise and the fall of the sea,
The rainy squalls and the cries of the birds,
The way shoals of fish would hide
Under the shadow of the ship.
He talked about weights and bait and floats,
The times men were seasick, at the side of the boat!
As many tales as an old seadog could wish.
Yet, despite all his prowess, we seldom saw fish!
An empty car-boot once caused mum to say
“It’s not just the big one which got away!”
But like the wedding feast at Canaan,
There was a miracle in store.
On the day dad’s boot was full,
And, in a box on the back seat,
There was even more!
The grin that he wore,
As dad got out of the car,
Went right across his head.
It was the story of loaves and fishes,
Except he didn’t produce any bread!
Yet, to my dismay, the fish were all dead!
A profusion of grim death on the kitchen table!
All with bulging, staring glass eyes
Their mouths wide open in aghast surprise
Capturing the moment of their sad demise.
We gave them away to our neighbours.
I’m not sure that they found them a treat.
“With all those heads and skins and bones
Are those fish really safe to eat?”