The Politics of Fishing

I have cut monofilament lines
and filed barbs from fishhooks
so none of them dig 
under my tender calluses.

Later, I will tweeze feathers
into peacocking mayflies,
and tie tiny knots camouflaged 
inside red resplendence.

Tomorrow, these tangles of sin
will be refracted by autumn’s sunlit glow,
disguising the vacuum downdrafts
buried beneath shards of rainbows.

Whatever trout I catch I will release,
as each speckled scale 
might augur the crystallized end
cast in the lurking vortexes 
where strident All-American men confidently wade.

But the eagles and jays still screech
from the stream-side’s overhanging trees,
never drowned and not silenced
below the cold fusion of rapids.

Though I might not knife slits 
into stiff silver bellies,
or watch final gasps and flops 
on slick river rocks,
my inaction hardly matters.
I must be sanded down,
then pulverized into silt 
by the rushing current.

© 2020 Ben Woll
Image by Udo Schroeter from Pixabay