Francis Duggan

The Stickleback - Poem by Francis Duggan

Somethings from childhood till old age remain
And old Joe returns to his youth again
By stream between the hedgerow and the old dirt track
He often stood and watched the stickleback.

The stickleback a fish of minnow size
Reddish under the gills and bulging eyes
In Spring and Summer in dykes and streams they breed
When male for the female makes a nest of weeds.

And in the nest their eggs the females laid
The only part in parenting they played
They left the male to the parenting role
To guard their young and his boundaries to patrol.

I will be seventy on my next birthday
Says old Joe with the hair of silver gray
And though somethings from our childhood with us stay
As years go by the memories fade away.

And in my boyhood years in distant Liverpool
On Spring evenings on my way home from school
By stream between the hedgerow and dirt track
I often stood and watched the stickleback.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 13, 2008

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