Remembering a Bait Shop in Tenby, Wales, poetry by Christian Ward at
Thomas Chen

Remembering a Bait Shop in Tenby, Wales

Remembering a Bait Shop in Tenby, Wales

written by: Christian Ward


A murderer’s emporium: Freezers
full of Sweeney Todd’s razors.
Vacuum-packed sprats to make alphas choke.
Fresh lugworms to fatten connoisseurs.

Who can forget the Venetian carnival
of feathery lures? Glow in the dark
fake squid? Sometimes I see them lighting
my way as I stumble through countless corridors.

Lines are cast. Victims picked. Their guts
stuffed with unwilling gifts. Every eye
slipping back to milk-white, another judgement.
My legs spasm with their movements, collapsing from final gasps.

At night, I run a finger around my mouth to feel
for the outline of hooks and rivulets of blood
more connected to the sea spray and sound
of birds bringing tomorrow on their wings.