Brother Judd

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic


This piece was inspired by childhood fishing trips with an elderly man from my church. My friend really did bend a trout in half.

Submitted: July 20, 2018

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Submitted: July 20, 2018

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Brother Judd

 

The fish could hardly be expected to remember us-

Two sleep-dusted Ohio boys, working a pole with Brother Blake,

methodically plinking the glass of Heritage Lake.

 

He was a most agreeable fisherman, long since passed on,

but he understood the principle of the thing itself;

this sport of tricking one live into becoming a trophy or dinner

for those other lives with nothing better to do.

 

I loved Brother Blake, I really did.

He of the Pentecostal faith (one God one Name one Baptism)

who spoke kindly to my mother, as he rushed her sons

to rattle the baitman's door;

 

We need us some frantic cold red worms;

We need us some possessed nightcrawlers;

Do we got any of them salmon eggs anywhere?

Fish don't bite on 'em anyway.

(They know their own.)

 

Once, I caught a beauty-

a rainbow trout, with all the hidden

colors of the Lord, he said,

and my friend, who had no grasp

on the subtleties of angling,

bent the fish clean in two,

just to show it could be done.

Brother Blake, his patience at an end,

said, "Son, don't be foolish with those fish."

So we put it back in the creel,

feeling much like the fish must have felt

when he felt that first tug.

 

I don't fish much now at all.

but occasionally I catch myself thinking

about that elder of my childhood church,

and start feeling a little foolish

about all the beautiful Fish

I've bent in two since then.


© Copyright 2019 Michael Pollick. All rights reserved.

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