Friday Poem

Seamus Heaney

Hangs, a fat gun-barrel,
deep under arched bridges
or slips like butter down
the throat of the river.

From depths smooth-skinned as plums,
his muzzle gets bull’s eye;
picks off grass-seed and moths
that vanish, torpedoed.

Where water unravels
over gravel beds he
is fired from the shallows,
white belly reporting

flat; darts like tracer-
bullet back between stones
and is never burnt out.
A volley of cold blood

ramrodding the current.