This poem is in response to the Real Toads prompt, a place evoked as a person or vice versa. I suppose fish count as people.
I found this picture on Wikimedia Commons (©Bill Henderson), taken in August 2007, of Batley park lake where I used to fish on Saturday afternoons. In August, when I was a kid, it would have been teeming with hundreds of us, and not an adult in sight. This is uncanny. Times change and children now have other, safer things to do.
Warm, never hot,
those jam jar summers,
the busy town park,
cool, green, water-weeded lake,
and dark rhododendrons in dusty exotic glory.
Minnows were tiddlers,
rainbows the most prized,
twisted and curled,
bright ephemera in their prison—
trapped in a jar, fish-full.
Park lake noise
scrambling up the cascades of the fountain
to the ice cream stand.
Finding the places where the tiddlers hid
in the shadows we titans threw,
the nets plunged, chased.
Fish eyes glinted and tails swished,
green water rippling where the swans passed by.
Turning and twisting,
silver-scaled summer drifted,
park lawn-smooth and unruffled,
and the jam jars always ready
with green twine for handles.
We carried them home,
slop-full of silver treasure,
that faded and died, slowly,
like the thick smell of privet
and the ice cream van jingles
into a past,
blazing with water glitter
seen through a fisheye lens.