The first time
I saw death
as kindness – Ger
watched out for
sprat and seagulls
seeing just where
in Ballycotton Bay
green waters teemed
with mackerel
and showed me how
to let a line of hooks
trail from the side
and wait – wait
for that first tug
then the astonishment
as two, then four
then six of nine
leapt to a death
met smiling
at my feet – now
walking on this sea
– this populous sea –
of memory I
am wishing for Ger’s
tell-tale signs
and a line of hooks
trailing in shoals of
disremembered dreams
and when they leap
– and they’ll come leaping –
openmouthed and
willing I’ll lay them
out belly-up
once and for all.