It was the pike I was scared of, Levantine of the Lough
whose sinuous appearance from the depths, through panicked
scatterings of minnow seemed to be a journey through millennia,
from the weedy floor’s prehistory to here on the bright pier’s edge.
He is brink and I am brink, I perch on the lip of the splintered planks.
He breaks surface, barely, when I snatch back my toes. I do not
wish my toes mistaken for sprinkled breadcrumbs, false trails
laid midst skater-bugs. The pike would just as easily take me by the ankle,
carry me below – he is the full length of a full grown man’s leg so my scrawny self
would pose no problem. I saw the pike once take one of his own, full gape,
he lurched up, held my gaze in triumph then made his cannibalistic plunge.It is the pike I am scared of out here on the brink.