They have waited for us in the country,keeping the catfish fed,brush-hogging the pond banks clear.
We must pull up a chair on the long porchwhile they hold down Sunday afternoon,circling their voices on episodes.
Then we can take the cane polesfrom against the chimneyto find what is left of luck.
Small bream toy with the ball of bloodon the hook, so when the big catstrikes, it is more than I am
ready for, driving my line down.The great ache of the pole quiverstoward heaven, before the line snaps.
For hours we watch the cork boband dive, raising clues.We wade to our necks for it.
We cast a flounder rig, its hooksvicious in the pond. It claws the cork,thrashes fourteen pounds of catfish
against the bank. The line snaps again.We take the gift of our fish talein the pink evening up to the porch.
They draw it to them like a prodigal son,full of flaws, but redeemable.They go to work on it.