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 is a poet living and working in St. John’s. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Is Dead, Riddle Fence, Plenitude Magazine, and other journals across Canada and abroad. Recent work is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry and The Metaworker. In 2016, Joe received a Newfoundland & Labrador Arts & Letters Award for Poetry.

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