we sat on the bank
father. son. river. rod.
3 ducks watch us,
they wait for knuckles of bread
we throw out for carp.
“yaa! piss off!” – my father’s arms
writhe in the wind like an angry officer.
i hoist my box of orange juice
i take a swig.
like a warm hand into my chest.
before our expedition…
i hid in the car, and
my father was the lookout.
the rear door left open,
a suspicious window.
i drained juice from the carton,
my fingers unscrewing caps
a thousand thoughts whirred
in my head as i mixed the booze.
the ducks became bored and left.
my bait starts to swirl in the distance,
a fistful of bread
with a hook in it (half immersed).
“you see that?”
my father starts to twitch, jiggle,
his hands bubble up through the
arms of the camping chair.
rotating bait equals a fish, gently
gnawing, picking, probing
underneath our excitement.
“have another drink Dad!”
“n-n-not now, i have to watch your bait.”
his eyes cut through the afternoon air,
heads of trees watch us,
insects trickle in the distance.
the bait stops.
my father sighs, his shoulders sag
like branches of an old tree,
he has a drink.
it is the last time i will see him,
i crack open a volume of poetry,
ducks chuckle further down the river.
we exchange poems, metaphors, stories
embalmed in the loam of our language.
vodka sways through our sentences,
no more bites.
the moment is perfect.
well, almost. maybe if there was
a bronze body dancing in
my father’s hands?
night draws over us
like a heavy curtain.
our sighs parallel,
our hands collect rods and bags.
two chairs jut out of my arms
like old telescopes.
“you good to go?”
i nod, and we trundle back on
the mud path
where our memories