David Wood (07 April 1950 / London)
Hovering silently waiting for its prey,
Fours fifths under water and painted dark grey.
To the fisherman it bobs up and down in the swell
With its red tip, a miniature liberty bell.
The line passed through a small rubber band
Attached to the neck of the float, it's not that grand,
To the hook which may rest below in the sand,
Or gravel, or the weeds where the pike stand.
The fisherman looks and wonders the reason why
Life is so hard, or ponders on the universe and sky.
Hour upon hour he looks at his float.
It's tatty and scratched and nothing to gloat.
It's his link with the prey, and he's in a fishing match,
With the number of fish he is hoping to catch.
He looks and looks at the float again and again.
The wait is tremendous and it's beginning to strain.
The float bobs in the water and blows in the breeze.
The fisherman sees it there, is afraid even to sneeze.
Oh, a tug on the line is all that he wants to haul a fish ashore,
But the fish are too cleaver, they have seen the float before.
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