By Anne McCrady
It was you, always you
whose scent of muck and shallow
I loved and lingered after.
You, who led me out to the heaven
of still hours holding a line,
my eyes drawn down a length
of quivering monofilament
through the mirror of water
to the invisible fish below.
Later, it was you who listened
as I wished for something big to bite
instead of the minnow nibbles
that made me hungry with boredom and desire.
You, whose strength pulled me shouting to my feet,
set my shoulders square as I turned, turned
the resistant reel to haul in the prize
you promised patience would provide.
Even now, it is you—
your own pole long laid aside,
who is with me still in these long afternoons
of sitting beside the pond of literary purpose,
your steady voice reminding me
to stifle a rush to reason, to instead fish
for what catches in my throat, what feeds me,
by following a strong line deep into my own stillness,
where something consequential
will surely take the bait.
Appeared in The Enigmatist,
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize
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