Litkicks Message Board Archive

Fisherman [pc]

Posted to Poetry

Your hands spoke for you
where you lacked the words,
rounded by seawater and cold.

And your face as tanned
as the number of days
you spent out at the shoreline:
digging for clams, quahogs, steamers,
fishing for taut hogs, ugly large flounder,
snagging New England blue crabs--
the salt we sucked
with burning spices
on sheets of newspaper.

Your smile to me, my vavoo,
image of your own daughter,
a toughened tenderness
that flashes as briefly
as the bait fish that tell you
the stripped bass are running.

At 6 o’clock in the morning
waiting for the poles,
in the old Rambler
you saved from the junkyard,
you pulled out fresh periwinkles
with a safety pin, slurped,
swigged Tabasco and whiskey.
Then you’d chew and spit your tobacco.

And smile at me in silence.