CALLING THE MINNOWS
Any man she could find
she brought to the fish pond.
She surprised them
by painting crosses on the tips of the clover,
fishing for minnows,
drawing them up on a slender line.
They always laughed at her boldness
until the silver hook stuck.
They would fight,
barbs tugging the gills,
scales swirled in the wound.
They tried to leap in the dark
belly of the pond.
But she was insistent, unhurried,
and whispered and breathed in the waves.
She knew a small, blind fish
swam inside every man,
knew there was the thought of a tree
in every tree,
and the idea of the minnow
would slowly emerge,
squirm up the thread
of her voice, the invisible line --
Once she went alone to the pond
and found the idea of herself
walking out of its flesh,
out of her dress as she moved --
She explored the weeds, pondside,
where plovers' high knees plowed the edge waves,
and water lapped lavender flowers --
She stretched over the banks,
feet in the mud and algae
blooms, watching hundreds of minnows
flip like coins in the sun,
tangling her hair,
calling the minnows
that swim below,
asking the world
to swallow her whole.
Previously Published in Poems Niederngasse
The high desert of the Mexican border, near Bisbee, Arizona
Poems Neiderngasse, Wind, Rattle, Conspire, Samsara, Stirring, etc.
Danzler Award From the University Of Kentucky for Undergraduate poetry, Included in the "Best Of Wind" Anthology
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