T (no first name) Wignesan


Siluroid


I am the prize catch
I live in an artificial lake
fed by a nappe phréatique
I was put there to keep
lesser fish: carp
from taking up too much space
I live to be caught
and caught again
and be let loose as rain
I protest only to attract attention
Twenty minutes to make things look good
for the fresh-water sportsman

I know now well how to play the game

My almost fanless tail
A slithering mermaid mass from my puffed-up head
where overcoat-button eyes
sunk on either side
of my gaping gasping mouth
shell-fish fins for hands
Seven beige whiskers under my gawking chin
make me the butt
of dare-devil diving click-clucking coots
Even the slender-necked darting grebe ignores me
I stay low when the wild geese gather
with their young:
duckling swan barnacle
I make no sound to call my own
Only the crunch of carp
between two rows of filed-down molars

It is not my duty to swagger around
even under my metallic raincoat camouflage
I hide where the yarrow stalks grow thick and deep
or where the weeping willows dip their loaded plaits

Every Sunday I await the sporting hameçon
The tear makes the wear more ludique
Only the side of my underlip looks like a harelip

It doesn't much matter
for the fun-loving trotters and rovers
like to marvel with pride at my side
in the fishing-club picture of the week

Meantime I gorge myself with carp
That's why I hardly ever wish to carp

(© T. Wignesan - Paris - 2012)

Note: The Siluroid, one of the largest fresh-water fishes, sometimes two metres and a half in length and weighing anything between a hundred and a hundred and fifty kilos.

Submitted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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