Why Men Fish

Fishing is the great metaphor. It is about being small and insignificant. About being lifted and lowered in your little boat by the mysterious depths. I used to fish on sunny days after school. I would shrug off my books filled with histories and sciences and maths, and grab my pole and box of lures, headed to one of the many local ponds. I didn’t always know what I was after, or even care. I just knew that there was something below the surface. Something big.


Why Men Fish

It is to escape their wives, of course,
with their endless suggestions,
and the day after day trudge of work.
To shove off, pull in the foot
and kneel in the wobbly craft.
To ease an oar into the water
with the softest splash.
To float without time
until the falling sun turns
the sky into fields of purple and orange
and casts man and boat
as a tiny silhouetted bobber,
their thin line almost invisible,
save the twitching circles
where it enters the water.
The hope, or faith really,
that surely, in all this,
there must be something
to catch.


from the collection Dancing the Haw

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