remembering the eel

July 17, 2017

The lake waters shiver – not with the cold

– it's mild enough with my collar pulled up

as I watch the current loosening the skeins

of drifting weed.

Aimless at first, but then

as if needing to flee, they are plucked

            from their mooring roots, slithering free.


That’s when I recall the eel

on the end of the line – my squeal

as I, winding in, rod bent in a half moon,

hold on as if I have no choice but

            to fight the serpent who scythes the air.


My grasp weakens, I let go

of the rod – drop the keep net.

Like memory itself

the nylon line snakes through the water,

            drawn taut before the final delve.


Today, the glinty fish are relaxed

– all shimmering flesh, flicking tails,

driving their dorsal fins through green coils.

Mouthing. They are lured, not

by an inexperienced angler

but by the patterns made by insects.


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