Poetry Pause: Douglas Walbourne-Gough — My Father and I, Fishing

 Poem Author: Douglas Walbourne-Gough Poem title: My Father and I, Fishing Poem:       Home was the center of the world because it was the place        where a vertical line crossed with a horizontal one.              — John Berger  Our old canoe nudges the pond's silver skin,  paddles pull through cloud-spackled sky as we set hooks in the mouths of brook trout. Breaching fish become bullseyes, hand-tied flies flicked forward, then that flash of fin and splash,  rod buckled half-moon in reward.   I read this surface like scripture, recognize time's  slow fold in the drift of rivers, my grandfather's  face in the fleeting wake of paddle strokes, but depth eludes me. I vie for this seat with my mother,  usually end up hoofing the shore, smiling quietly while she outfishes my father. Her glee pealing across the water like bursts of light.   It makes me ache for my grandmother's company,  wish I'd shared this boat with her, watched her bird-bone frame form laughter mixed with the cry of diving loons. I sit across from him, my coltish potential fumbling to keep up. From this canoe he's seen himself in the sky, geese flying through his mind like seasons. End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Douglas Walbourne-Gough from Crow Gulch (Goose Lane Editions, 2019)  Douglas Walbourne-Gough is a poet and mixed/adopted Mi'kmaw from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. His poetry has appeared/is forthcoming in Best Canadian Poetry, Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, CV2, Forget Magazine, Grain, GUEST, Newfoundland Quarterly, Poetry In Voice, Prairie Fire, QWERTY, and Riddle Fence. His reviews and essays appear in CV2 and Newfoundland Quarterly and he’s recently become associate poetry editor for Riddle Fence and editorial assistant for The Fiddlehead. His first collection, Crow Gulch, was published with Goose Lane's icehouse poetry imprint. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing (UBC Okanagan) and is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing (UNB Fredericton).