Wallace Kaufman

(1939 / New York)

Old Woman Fishing (for Jessie Rehder)


In sneakers, khaki pants
and brother's flannel shirt
you slosh the mud, weeds
and willow shoots that rim
the green glass pond.
Frogs describe long arcs
in forewarned flight and wrens
from woven nests inscribe
the air with rapid script.
Cricket shrill is cut
absolutely still.

Gallumphing woman clown,
with sportsman's rod and reel,
you should not leave the car,
you have no right to stumble,
plod great holes and splash
where no one laughs.
Anyhow, you stop
to fasten lure to line.

Your broad arm whips the fiber
pole, the silver minnow leaps
against the sky,
slows to a perfect curve,
descends far off, small
plip that rings the glass.
In cool depths the fish
are wakened by the glint
that sways toward you beneath
the ripples spreading green
all ways in perfect
O's.

Submitted: Monday, December 15, 2008

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