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Fishermen Analysis

Author: poem of James A. Emanuel Type: poem Views: 9

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When three, he fished these lakes,

Curled sleeping on a lip of rock,

Crib blankets tucked from ants and fishbone flies,

Twitching as the strike of bass and snarling reel

Uncoiled my shouts not quit

Till he jerked blinking up on all-fours,

Swaying with the winking leaves.

Strong awake, he shook his cane pole like a spoon

And dipped among the wagging perch

Till, tired, he drew his silver rubber blade

And poked the winding fins that tugged our string,

Or sprayed the dimpling minnows with his plastic gun,

Or, rainstruck, squirmed to my armpit in the poncho.

Then years uncurled him, thinned him hard.

Now, far he cast his line into the wrinkled blue

And easy toes a rock, reel on his thigh

Till bone and crank cry out the strike

He takes with manchild chuckles, cunning

In his play of zigzag line and plunging silver.

Now fishing far from me, he strides through rain, shoulders

A spiny ridge of pines, and disappears

Near lakes that cannot be, while I must choose

To go or stay: bring blanket, blade, and gun,

Or stand a fisherman.


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