Monster of the Mere by Richard Stevenson

Monster of the Mere
Richard Stevenson

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve,
Martin Mere, Ormskirk, Lancashire –
not the sort of place you’d expect honkin’
big swans and ducks to just disappear!

Somethin’ the size of and weight of a truck
must be comin’ up from the bottom of the mere.
It’d need to be huge to nab a swan ‘n’ dunk ‘im.
You tellin’ me a big fish could do that?!

C’mon!  How big a fish are we talkin’ about?
What kind that I haven’t heard of in my angling days?
Zeuglodon, Basilosaurus, Plesiosaurs – all extinct.
And the surgeon’s a bottom scum sucker, seldom emerges.

A Wels Catfish?  The older they get
the bigger, you say.  So – what? – we’re
talkin’ about a hundred-year-old fish?
(Not somethin’ anyone’s gonna slap on a dinner dish.)

But, o.k., an eight or nine-footer, say.
Again, are catfish carnivores, or do they
just like weed ‘smores? Anacaris
and swan guts supreme – a catfish delicacy.

Could be talkin’ about a fish bigger ‘n’ yer boat,
maybe bigger than anything that’ll float out here.
Yeah, and the mere’s a portal to another time.
We’re talkin’ interdimensional beings now?!

Mmm Hmm. Big whiskers just like those
sixties’ automobile feelers reachin’ for the curb.
Oh, I taste the molecules of a Trumpeter Swan.
Better snag, bag, and tag one of those! As if!

Wels Catfish, eh? Just supplementing his diet
With a one-honk swan or two. So satiating!
Maybe he just got tired of pickin’ at old rubber tires,
Algae-covered debris, went keto for a change.


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