I know I must have been at his bedside
with the Lucozade and the rest of them
on the day or the day before he died,

and I know he must have had oxygen,
and his pyjamas were Salbutamol blue
and had stripes, but none of it feels true.

What I remember is rowing at night
on a black park-lake and the wheeze of oars.
Granddad and me letting out a long, light

line into pitch waters.  The sudden bite
and pull and panic.  Heading for shore
and the spiked fish growing, unblinking,
rising up to loom above the chill waves,

lips gaping.  Then on land, turning to run,
gasping, fleeing and that feeling sinking

into the pitch of me.
Orbis  Summer 05
K A T E ‘ S   P O E M S