Orillia, Ontario, May,2001: Half-Pint Perch - Poem by Brian Purdy
Half-pint perch in sunlit water
Chase their shadows above the rocks.
A fisherman chews a cigarillo
Light brown in a darkly-golden face.
I watch him lean above the water,
Bend his line through olive light
While Lilliput swimmers in the channel
Flee the shade of their fisher-god.
His rod and reel do not protect them
Through the dark and weedy trench;
Too small yet for him to want them
Yet they fear their circumstance
Will they know, when fully-grown,
They must flee before his hook?
Or will they simply not remember
How his shadow struck and shook?
Lifting out a foot-long swimmer
Grinning while he bites his smoke,
The fisher-god secures his dinner
Meets my eye, re-baits his hook.
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