Natasha Trethewey


Poem by Natasha Trethewey

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.

Comments about Flounder by Natasha Trethewey

  • Rajat Chakraborty (6/15/2018 12:59:00 PM)

    One of the gems of English literature.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Margaret O DriscollMargaret O Driscoll (2/24/2016 2:38:00 PM)

    Very profound piece Natasha(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (11/14/2015 5:05:00 PM)

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

    23 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dutendra ChamlingDutendra Chamling (10/31/2015 5:46:00 AM)

    This poem has strong language that gives wonderful imagination.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 4 comments »
Flounder Score Card

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3,4 / 5 (24 votes)4

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Read poems about / on: fish, silver, water, sun, fishing

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003