The One Who Got Away
I know him best
along the bends of the creek,
as we share Hershey bars and orange soda.
he teaches me the ways of rainbows,
browns and cutthroats.
we silently pick our way along the soggy bank.
I point to the brush
where he untangles my lure,
as though he has all the time in the world
for my fumbling attempts at mastery.
this is a place where time slows
in the smell of warm mud and cottonwood.
I cast the faux fly,
deftly crafted by my father.
he blows on his fly like dice
then gently lays it on the smooth water bed.
the cutthroat slaps the bait with his tail,
swallows it whole,
and pulls the line taut.
my father jumps in up to his waist
afraid the line won’t hold.
we lay our catch on freshly pulled meadow grass.
red razor gills gasping,
he shakes the wicker casket.
I think perhaps setting a hook
is not such a good thing.
I release him.