Grand Pockets’s Blog

Genealogy, Family, Poetry and Peeves

A Boy Fishing


A Boy Fishing

frankie-fishing-sketch-ink

Summer

Watches a walking stick upon a branch

impaling aphids with his glance,

tickles the wiggle of a crawler, red and slick,

festooned in pearls of shining thick

mud and chases damsels flitting on netted

wings, and loopworms pirouetted

under dancing willow leaves, a boy fishing

skips stones and sends them dishing

concentrically across the green water,

then runs and slips mudfirst down the otter

bank, startling frogs who join the splash,

stains his face in the mulberry cache

all before threading his first shining treble

hook, holding the elastic minnow eye-level

to watch the fascinating gore. Unwinds the cane

pole’s line and plops bobber in sinker’s train

deep in the water. Props it on a crooked

stick and remembers that he hasn’t looked

under the mossed and lapping rocks that linger

along the lakeshore. Entices with a finger,

a crawdad, lifts it pinching from its murky cave

then dares its claws with nose to see how brave

he is. From a corner of his eye he sees the pole

bobbling, whooping, pounces on it whole

and rassles alligators taking fancy flight

with his imagination. Yanks up hard to set tight

the barbed point as an iridescent redear leaps

and disappears, steals his bait and flees,

but disappointment sheds at sight of watersnake

swimming esses on the water’s slate,

another wrestling match to contemplate!

time yet to curl in the nesting grass

and nap before it gets too late, bob-o-cane

tucked underfoot, count cloud fleece,

and the days left til its back to school.

© Chuck Elledge 2002

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