fishing for a point

a single point, the nail-biter
the beat-the-split dangler
just out of reach – teasing but
like hunting a spring salmon
make the wrong move /

it’s gone – slipped into current
– shit-hooked in plain sight
by likewise desperate travellers
in multi-skiffs, home-late trawlers

and you spin about, clinging
on to what you have, upturned
until the massage of the current
caresses your ego – but stumble

and before you realise, it pulls
you under the split of tides
pummels your nerves, tests
the very notion of survival

and when the May blossom
gathers on the settled skim
you may have surrendered
to the weary heart turmoil

rolling your exhausted carcass
on to the shifting, lower sands
where you left on your journey
upstream those summers past

or if the prisms, grant your wish
of good fortune, stand firm
and straighten into one beam
they’ll hook you by the label

on the last shirt bought
on the last trip to yon sunny place
and you’ll float in easy circles
not drowning, settling into exhausted

beat-the-drop, contented sleep
until the next run, itches, nibbles
at your soul, and guddle-tempts you
to cast into the fast water again

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