Glasgow Zoo Park
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by Richard O'Grady

Cruelly I cast my hook
into the cavern gaping
whilst overhead in bobbing boat,
impatiently I'm waiting.

A sudden tug,
I reel then stop.
What size of fish anchors my line?
Must fight, and tire, not hasten.

In and out and back and forth,
I play him like a warrior.
He slowly slacks, I reel him in,
a catfish of saltwater.

But a miserable, tiny, upright fish
who squeaks, bug-eyed on touching.
He fans his fins, so sharp, so shear,
and hops to face me, knowing.

Whilst I was "playing"
my "monster" fish,
from his muddy cave, my little friend
tried hard to simply stay there,

until at last, all energy spent,
he's hauled to a surface baking:
"Oh put me back. Please put me back."
Imploring eyes suggest.

I harden my heart: "I've caught a fish!"
I try not to think of his home.
He hops and flaps and squeaks and pants,
I could swear I hear him groan.