On the banks of the mighty Skagit,
where the rushing waters flow,
sat a fisherman of merit,
the one known as Farmer Joe.
Long he sat there, long he fished there,
always waiting for the day
he would catch a mighty salmon
and it wouldn't get away.
He had lived upon the prairies
where crop farming was his life,
working hard to care for family,
seven children and a wife.
Times were hard and for this farmer
it was toil and toil some more.
If good crops the price was lower,
if good prices, crops were poor.
He worked hard, did this poor farmer
and he fed his family well,
for he raised this big truck garden,
pigs to eat and milk to sell.
He thought often of his childhood
on the banks of the Wabash,
where he spent his youth just fishing,
some to eat and some for cash.
Rationed waters on the prairies,
in the years when it was dry,
made him long so for the rivers.
Even tough old farmers cry.
Family raised he quit his farming,
and he headed for the West,
where he'd heard of powerful rivers
and of fishing at its best.
Once he saw the Skagit River
in the State of Washington,
said he then, "We'll go no further
for I know this is the one."
Stayed he there by that big river,
never straying far away;
stayed he there and fished it daily.
It was now his time to play.
Grown old he had at farming,
he had just a few years left
for to catch that wary salmon,
the great one of mighty heft.
When the fishing season opened,
he'd get up at break of day,
fix his breafast, fix his lunch sack.
He'd be on that bank to stay.
There he met his fishing cronies,
all retired with leisure time.
Sat they fishing by the river,
all these fellows past their prime.
Then one day at last it happened.
He pulled out that fishing prize.
Then they weighed and then they measured
and declared it super size.
And the fisherman of merit,
the one known as Farmer Joe,
grinned and said, " I'm glad I did it,
before it was my time to go."
God in heaven must have noticed
how he longed for that big fish.
Said He then, "I'll let him stay there
long enough to get his wish".
On the wall there hangs a picture
of that farmer and his prize,
for that farmer was my daddy
who a few weeks later dies.
Called he then to old St. Peter,
standing guard at the Golden Gate.
"Welcome Joe", said that old fisherman.
"Come on in, the fishing's great".
Won 3rd place
For Mac's Best poem contest. (It may not be my best but it is the one of which I am most
proud. It hangs on the wall beside my daddy and his big fish.