A Private Fishing Hole
My uncle took me fishing.
He’d smoke his favorite briar
Stuffing the cherry blend in with stubby
Welsh fingers more suitable for digging coal,
Than compacting mulched tobacco leaves.
A line taut between his index finger and his thumb,
He took a thready pulse of a line strung along the pole.
He told me stories of his growing up:
Painting my grandfather’s car ruined by feathers
Blown in from a cock who’d recently been plucked.
He would hand the pole to me to relight his pipe, he said.
And fumble among the hundred pocket vest
Pockets for his Zippo lighter
I liked surreptitiously to smell
And play endlessly with clicking of its top.
A trout would tug my line, bolt arching up
Above the water’s edge and topple back to tug again.
I’d play it back and forth until I played it up on shore.
And put it in a basket made of hardened wicker weave.
Some men fish for fishing's sake and others to make fishermen. (2/7/02)
Copyright © Stephen Wilson-Floyd | Year Posted 2021
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