Monday, August 4, 2014

Because We Could

Gotcha some bullheads, I see.  Hap
pulled us into dock, bullheads carpeted
our boat's floor, fins surrounded our feet.

When they're biting, nothin's
more fun than pulling 'em in.. 

Ready to pull anchor, the first strikes
stunned us.  Our reels spun and rods
tipped as catfish dipped for the deep.

My dad's excitement nearly swallowed
the stump of his partly chewed cigar.

Discarding my Hemingway novel,
I leaned into grace under pressure
to land fish after defenseless fish.

Goose Martin and I hit a strike one night
and filled a garbage can while it lasted.

The wide yellow heads adorned with timeless
barbels rested in the alien world of our sport
while knowing eyes mocked our amusement.

Three pounds of infinitely formed flesh
tempted by minnow disguised hooks.

Underwater boxcars, they lack the stylish
design of the sleek northerns and walleyes,
elusive muskies, the flare of the bluegills.

Scavengers, bottom feeders, controllers
of the night, their defensive fins disabled.

What shall we do with these?  We have
a couple of nice walleye for our supper,
and we're leaving in the morning.

I'll smoke the suckers. Hap eyed the catch
with relish, mixing mental barbecue sauce.

The last fish gasped for air as my departing
sneaker nudged his dream,  visioned minnows
swam just beyond his open mouth.

Herding Socks

I've given up on socks. The washer
eats them for its lunch. The dryer melts
them down for its own mysterious
purposes, welding art behind the lint
trap, strange alchemies that only dryers
understand. What few I am able to rescue
like a bag of puppies tossed to the road
running past a likely home, I struggle
to match. Litter mates, twins from birth,
but beyond the obvious argyles, stripes,
and patterns, I'm at a loss with the blues
and blacks. They wait patiently in baskets
littered about the house for desperation
to pull near matches for a walkabout
under dark pants. On their good days,
the cats upend their lairs and drag
them on trips only socks can appreciate.

(For Tweetspeak Poetry's laundry giveaway)