Joe Bishop Literature Poetry

Father’s Day

Joe Bishop


I haul on his rubber boots,
pack tackle box aboard, part
glinting pond on which my old
man taught me how to skate.

My grown hands recoil,
recalling numb, small fingers
tighten laces to his standard.
This morning suns knuckles.

I bait hook, cast lured line,
scratch what will be beard,
relive one morning when
I was five and Dad took me

here ice-fishing. He didn’t trust
further out, laid down stick,
ordered: do not pass. Boring
auger, his glance caught me

gliding past, caught rot-hole
snatching. Submerged in the
jolt of his hand hooking hood,
our teeth clacking, I reel.

He woke me nights later,
casting wails down the hall,
hauled from dream’s outcome,
moral for sons who won’t listen.


Joe Bishop headshotJoe Bishop won a Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters award for poetry in 2016. His writing has appeared in The New Quarterly. Joe works as a contractor in St. John’s, where he lives with his boyfriend, Jim, and dog, Banksy.

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