Catch of the day

It leaps, breaking the skin of the lake
of possibility, this thing that flashes steel—
this trout of a poem, wild with life, rainbow scales
and spiny fins. Now, for patience, the pull of the catch:

I cast, wait for the jerk–the tug of hook in bony jaw–
feel the line go taut. The ballet begins, a wrestle
to land this flailing, feral thing–all thrash and edge–
and tame it into telling its own muscular story.

I heave it over the rim of its arrival, glorious,
fighting the whole way, slippery as language.
Its beauty twitches on the floor boards, its glisten
spilling over the lip of my notebook page.

Luci Shaw

All poems are copyrighted by Luci Shaw.
To be reprinted only by permission of the author.