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The Saturday poem: The Catch

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by Ben Wilkinson

For you, the catch wasn't something caught:
not word or contender, attention or fire.
Not the almost-missed train, or the sort
of wave surfers might wait an entire
lifetime for. Not the promise that leaves
the old man adrift for days, his boat
creaking, miles offshore. Nor what cleaves
the heart in two, that left your throat
parched and mute for taking pill
after yellow-green pill, the black-blue
taste the price you paid to kill
the two-parts sadness to one-part anger.
No. The catch was what you could never
let go. It's what you carried, and still do.

From For Real (smith|doorstop, £5). To order a copy for £4 with free UK p&p go to guardianbookshop.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.

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