North Branch by Richard Reeve

My grandfather,

before I was school aged,

would take me tromping

through the woods.

I’d carry

a short fishing rod

and a kreel.

When we reached

the crik, a tiny stream

even then I could jump

in places,

onto the hook

he would place

a kernel of corn,

then proceed

to show me

where to drop the line

so the bait would be pulled

to where he suspected

a trout lay in wait.

To lift a brookie!

a tiny trout, no more

than seven inches,

bounty from the stream.

With six small fish

added to the kreel,

our lunch secured,

we’d head deeper

into the woods

to the remnants

of abandoned homesteads,

the stone foundations

all that remained.

We’d turn the soil

with a hand shovel.

until a bottle or tin can

from the previous century


When we meet again

the first thing I’ll ask:

Grandpa, when can we

go pirating again?

25 thoughts on “Pirating

  1. That was a fine poetical memory and really well balanced written piece too. As a Grancha with 7 grandchildren it would be nice to believe that their ‘Welsh’ visits, the beach, the VeeDub experiences and outdoor activities had similar impact. All the best.

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