I recall one winter’s morning I went fishing with my mate,
And we'd both been out the night before, and got in far too late.
But a promise is a promise, and I said that I would drive
To the gravel pits in Park Street, where we'd start at half past five.
We both liked going piking – though it’s quite a little trip,
But once you've got your bait out, you can have yourself a kip.
And as we rarely ever catch much, it makes such a peaceful day,
For if we’re not busy sleeping we can fish the hours away.
Then just as I got settled down, with the float out in my swim,
I heard my mate start shouting - what the hell was up with him?
So I quickly reeled my bait in, and grabbed my landing net.
I thought, I’d better go and help him; it's a monster I would bet.
And when I got behind him, I could see what lit his fire,
A swan had swum across his line and tangled in the wire.
Well it fought and flapped and spun and squawked and tried to get away,
But the line was far too strong and tight and would have held all day.
There was sadly nothing we could do, it really was a sod,
Though my mate, he kept his grip on, case it flew off with his rod.
Eventually it stopped moving; you could tell that it was dead,
So we pulled it in and cut the line that wrapped around its head.
Thank God that no one saw us; we were down there all alone,
I said, “We'll have to hide the body.” He said, “No, I'll take it home.
We must be sure that no one finds it, so I'll give it to my dad.
And as the Queen’s the owner – she’s the last one we want mad.”
I said, “What if we're pulled over and police start searching me?
We'll be locked up in the tower and they'll chuck away the key.”
So I drove home oh so carefully, in my fear of being stopped.
It was the ‘baddest’ thing I'd ever done - I'd die if we were copped.
Then at last we got to his house and we hid it in his garage,
As long as my mum never knows - it could cost my dad his marriage.
He said, “Just leave the rest to me; I'll phone you later on,
And tell you what my dad decides about this bloody swan.”
Well, the hours went past so slowly, and the guilt began to claw;
It felt like we had robbed a bank and were hiding from the law.
Then eventually he rang and said his dad had flipped his lid,
And if I called by next morning, he would tell me what he did.
Well it made for me an anxious night, and sleeping very hard;
How would I explain a visit from the Yeoman of the Guard?
I reached his house at ten to twelve; and dinner smelt just great.
His mum said I should stay and eat, and laid another plate.
And when at last we all sat down, she carried in the roast;
It was the biggest bird I'd ever seen, and was like I'd seen a ghost.
You see, my mate's dad’s a butcher, and to him a bird's a bird.
And his mum thought she'd cooked a goose, so not to say a word.
It was the finest Sunday dinner that I've had in all my days,
As it tasted just amazing in a million different ways.
So that’s why they're protected - and just posh folk are allowed,
It's because they taste so special and just one can feed a crowd.
Then his mum gave me a doggy bag to make my taste buds tickle;
I was the only boy in work next day with rolls of ‘swan and pickle’.
(Sorry Your Majesty it was an honest accident)
Copyright © Dennis East | Year Posted 2016
…on a Sunday morn, against the ever watchful
and furtive glances of bird feeders, who enjoy
the occasional, yet so gentle breeze;
the vibrant façade of this kirk and voices of hummingbirds,
in the rays of my morning orb, you suddenly appear
before me, with echoes of our yesteryears;
your sad, sad face reminds me of happy, happy times
that you once etched in my heart; now you came, with desire
of wanting me back, I know, for I can feel it
as I listen to your whisper to the wind “I still love you!”
“Great, just great! You know I did love you,
but it is too late now Honey!” my eyes silently answer;
…the vibrant façade of this kirk and voices of hummingbirds
have already intertwined, with resounding wishes
and marching of bird feeders, to part our ways, for eternity.
Copyright © Ernesto P. Santiago | Year Posted 2007