We were a strange eutectic mix that summer
Clattering our bikes and rods down farmer’s tracks
In search of perfect swims and privacy.
I had, by nodding agreement,
the best collection of floats, spinners and spoons
arranged by size and colour, in the best box.
You were the only boy I ever lent one.
Approaching, in Apache crouch, our favourite pool
I wave you behind me and, unwisely, as it turned out,
I slickly click the bail arm back and curl my finger round the line.
A threatening tree necessitates the lowest flick and with a swish
I whip the rod tip out towards the sun.
Your tears were hot.
Your breath - sherbert and frightened dandelions.
Later, Dr.Wooley surprised us both
By cutting through your cheek and releasing all my hooks intact.
When I called, your mother said,
‘Martin’s not coming out today’.
You were the biggest thing I caught that year.