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The Catch

He drags a stringer of sunfish at dusk,

one fat bass at the end of nylon cord

looped through dirty gills, and slips by his mother

(watching TV) to fill the tub and dump

stiff fish afloat with shampoo bottles, soap,

and a bright yellow duck. What is hope?

A sharp tug that proves he chose the right jig?

A shore where only children shout? How big

a channel cat or bass might be? His damp clothes

dry on the towel rod. A hush replaces

dusk. He sleeps in a chair. His mother

cleans the tub. A family is hard scale

on which to weigh the keepers, a cutting board

covered with guts, a slit from gills to tail.

from Poetry Northwest 06.1 Spring & Summer 2011More by Tod Marshall from the library

Copyright © Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Poems Tod Marshall

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.