Today's poem is based on a phone call from my son, describing how he had taken his son fishing for the first time.
I could say that I made up some of the details, but that wouldn't be true, exactly ... the feel of the rod, the quivering fish, the sights and sounds that go along with fishing ... are based on memories of outings I had with my own sons.
The poem, incidentally, is part of a manuscript in search of a publisher.
NAMING THE FISH
First, there was the long
practice, getting the feel of the rod,
the flick that would send the lure
spinning out across the expanse
of driveway toward the evening sun,
the steady clicking of retrieval,
another flick, and another.
And now the blue water dazzles,
an early sun glinting, wind-stirred
ripples moving in such a way that you
feel you are moving, instead, drifting
toward some vague destination.
The sheath is removed from the barbs
of the lure now, a soft hum of line
extending, the plop, the long wait.
Then the line goes suddenly taut,
tingling, the feeling of life
racing its length, bending the rod
until, finally, the water parts
and you’re holding a slippery,
wiggling, gasping fish, looking
into its large, imploring eyes,
giving it a name, a person’s name,
then letting it slip gently back
into the water and swim away.
Today's word: spinning