A Lucky Catch and The Flood by Anthony Holness

A Lucky Catch

Grandma left Jamaica alone,

not mentioning my grandfather

even once upon a slip of time.

His face her best kept secret,

like the lucky brass pipe hidden

under her bed all my childhood.

‘Why is it lucky Grandma?’

A pebble found in Gut’s river rubs

smooth with luck, that dull pipe

diverted condensate from boilers,

too charmless to plumb into a poem.

Like holding onto a lucky catch,

A trickle of the past drained out

when I held the pipe: it weaponised

to beat back violent attacks, pound

out luck made with her own hands

sailing alone to England. I was lucky

Grandma never needed my Grandfather.

~~~

The Flood

Downstairs had flooded overnight;

drenched curtains, floating furniture:

my parents’ divorce had finally broken

its banks, pouring through every gap

our house offered, lapping into

my sleep like water into a cave.

Water tastes of silence: soft waters

of Yorkshire, rich with minerals;

tap water dad called Thames brew.

I swam out and began to float in

flavours only the drowning know,

gulping my reflection on the surface

of flowing water. But when I looked

I never saw my face; I saw an open cave,

waves exploding into its mouth.

I saw years dissolve into currents

of a flowing place I had become:

a single body of water where

separate lives still meet as one.

~~~

Anthony Holness lives and works in London. His poetry and short stories have been published by Popshot, Eunoia Review and The Fiction Pool.

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