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THE ANGLERS PRAYER
by
Cliff Parker

LORD, I am sitting here, in inclement weather
And conditions of great personal inconvenience,
For all sorts of reasons:
To get away from the fumes, the smoke, the noise,
The rat race, the boss, the bank manager, the tax inspector,
The wife, the kids, the mother-in-law,
But ostensibly to catch fish.

The fish are slow in coming.
Possibly because they have been annihilated
By the four tons of toxic rubbish
Dumped upriver - By the factory - Last Tuesday.

At the end of this day, having had nary a nibble,
And feeling at odds with the world,
I shall stumble from the meadow
Into the shelter and warmth
Of a well-appointed - Hostelry.

There I shall sup more than is good
For my health, pocket or equilibrium.
Telling the while, to whomever will listen,
The most outrageous and unprincipled
Variations, on the truth.

After which, having been ejected
By a landlord who no longer loves me,
Either for my money
Or considerable personal charm,
I shall wend my weary way home,
Holding deep philosophical conversations
With passing tomcats, stray dogs,
Lamp posts and policemen,
None of whom have much sympathy
With the piscatorial ethos.

Meanwhile - Back at the cottage small,
Will be waiting the Little Woman,
Light of My Life and Moon of My Desire,
With a feast, long since past its prime.
Armed as a shield maiden of old Teutonic legend,
With a hairy great rolling pin, lethal-looking poker,
Substantial tin tray, or any combination of these,
The Light of My Life - Will bend one or all
Over my - Already throbbing - Swede.

If this, Lord, Is what fishing is all about, I give up.

Never again - Under any circumstances.
Nothing would tempt me.
Wild horses would not drag me.
I’d rather die - So there.
Amen.

P.S. Could You please make it a bit warmer for this Saturday?
 
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