With fleet hands flecked by solar spots
my father wove the wicker pots
from wire and tea-tree twigs for crays
to meet ripe meals and then a maze.
In silver summer dawns he oared
the pot-stacked boat to where the fraud
of free lunch would be offered, where
the hunted hunkered in their lair.
Dependent on their bobbing buoys
in seethe of bubbles sank his ploys,
each rigged with glassy rabbit eyes,
full fathom five my father's spies.
Then one by one in sea blue night
the stalked crustaceans sniffed delight
of paddock-fattened rabbit flesh
and scrabbled to the woody mesh.
Next dawn he stowed his dripping oars
above the mass of frenzied claws,
fiddling in the wood and wires
crimping hopeless crabby pliers.
My Father hauled the fizz of rope
and felt its weight confirm his hope -
a crimson-crusted boon disgorged
to flap and clatter scaly boards.
I well remember drums of steam,
the shrill-pitch whistle of a scream,
the claw entangling hessian sack,
a stalky eye gone blanker black.
But after that we split and snapped
great knobs of claws, spoon-hammer rapped;
we sucked and slurped and clacked and clucked
at all the white hot gobs we shucked.
While time's harsh tides have seized those snares
that hung weed drapes in long gone airs,
and sunk them deep, those pots remain,
snaring feasts in my sea-salt brain.