Flounder Poem by Natasha Trethewey


Rating: 3.4

Here, she said, put this on your head.
She handed me a hat.
you 'bout as white as your dad,
and you gone stay like that.
Aunt Sugar rolled her nylons down
around each bony ankle,
and I rolled down my white knee socks
letting my thin legs dangle,
circling them just above water
and silver backs of minnows
flitting here then there between
the sun spots and the shadows.
This is how you hold the pole
to cast the line out straight.
Now put that worm on your hook,
throw it out and wait.
She sat spitting tobacco juice
into a coffee cup.
Hunkered down when she felt the bite,
jerked the pole straight up
reeling and tugging hard at the fish
that wriggled and tried to fight back.
A flounder, she said, and you can tell
'cause one of its sides is black.
The other is white, she said.
It landed with a thump.
I stood there watching that fish flip-flop,
switch sides with every jump.

Rajat Chakraborty 15 June 2018

One of the gems of English literature.

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Margaret O Driscoll 24 February 2016

Very profound piece Natasha

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Susan Williams 14 November 2015

This literary giant takes a moment in time and turns it inside out and shows us the interior of each moment we live

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Dutendra Chamling 31 October 2015

This poem has strong language that gives wonderful imagination.

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