A Hazel Stick for Catherine Ann

The father recalls a stick he fashioned for his young daughter. Elements that were fleeting (gone), enduring (kept), animate (salmon) and inanimate (hazel twig) turned an everyday event into something remarkable. Compared to ephemeral natural examples (the living mother-of-pearl of a salmon/ just out of the water) the emblematic stick’s colourings were more enduring; it kept salmon-silver as it matured (seasoned)Ownership of the bendy, reassuring stick gave a status not easily surrendered: what you have you hold (literally and metaphorically ‘something to hang onto’ ). Its uses might be peaceful (to play with or pose with)or aggressive: lay about with. The stick reminds the speaker of a previous generation (points back to cattle), to an earlier father-farmer version, to the spatter and/ […]