Poem of the Month: Fishing With My Father
Editor’s Note from Susan de Wardt: Celebrate Father’s Day by sharing family experiences with your father or a loved relative. Perie Longo’s poem “Fishing With My Father” evokes those special summer days when kids spend time with their dads.
He always took me fishing with him
on those long northern summer nights
out in the boat and I loved it, not the sitting for hours
under all the moons and showy red lights, but the going Ė
the creak of the oars in the locks like entering
an attic of silence where no one could reach us,
water beads lined up on the edge of the oar
clinging like a string of pearls before they dripped back
into the liquid mirror that held us all. I realize now
how many poems I thought up but never noted
in those hours while we stared the bobber down
praying for a catch. I used to play games to pass the time,
for it was not the fishing that pleased me
but being with my father
in his joy. If I blinked my eyes thirty-nine times,
on the fortieth a muskie would strike, that fish
my fatherís dream he took to heaven I think.
When I held his arm at his passing,
clung to his hand like no fish ever had,
he let go and I slipped off, like that.
If I blink thirty-nine times, on the fortieth
Maybe Iíll catch a glimpse of him.
From the anthology Fishing With My Father: A Literary Companion, Peter
Kaminsky, ed., NY:Chamberlain Bros., a Penguin Group, © 2005
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