River Beck – by Rachel Burns


Wearing plastic jelly shoes, stroking grey underbellies of young trout to stupefy
scooping the silvery fish up with cupped hands, dropping them plop into jam jars.
We sit on the sandy river bank, watching our catch glint in the sun
as we eat peanut butter and jam butties curling at the edges,
a bottle of Barr’s lemonade cooling in the stream.

When the sun begins to fade, we put the trout back,
half-submerging the jam-jar in the stream, the sound of glass chiming
against river stone, our feet unsteady balancing on loose pebbles,
watching the trout hesitate, uncertain, circling the mouth of the jar,
before swimming away, beyond Esh Winning, Rag Path Woods, the river beck.




Rachel Burns poems have appeared in SOUTHLIGHT, HeadStuff, Marble Poetry, Arfur, HCE, The Fenland Reed, Crannog and Poetry Salzburg Review. She was commended in HeadStuff poetry competition 2018 and shortlisted for Primers Volume Four.