The road there was quiet. He dropped his wife at school, unhooked
himself from the lines of cars swimming sleepily toward the town.
He’d waited a week after the ponds reopened
before ploughing straight into the stream
of men who lined the water’s edge
holding rods and flies. He knew his limit:
two trouts, not too big or too small
– enough for dinner. He extracts the silver fly,
unweaves the hook caught in car seat fabric,
then plods the timely plod of a man who can cup
hours and let them sizzle and evaporate in his palms.
He walks around the pond.
My spine is the shape of a bubble in bed; I watch the city ripple
through my phone, the reeling of drunk friends, liquid cars dissolving into traffic.
Midday unsnags itself. I download another movie. He tests the water.
Rachel Cleverly graduated from University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA in 2019. She has developed work with BBC Radio, Rich Mix, Apples and Snakes and The Roundhouse. She has been shortlisted by Bad Betty Press and A3 Magazine, and published by Ache Magazine, Lucent Dreaming and the UEA Publishing Project. She currently works as a Programmes Assistant for Clore Leadership, and lives in South-East London.