Author Joseph Heywood
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Winterfish

A sea of Polar air so severe
We’ve switched to Kelvin.
Words freeze in my larynx,
Too cold for salt,
The county’s switched to sand
Which turns the roads
To mocha.
I dream of blue herons
Riding thermals along oxbows,
Lifting suddenly
Looking back,
Me in shorts and boots
My neck and shoulders
Prickling from
Yesterday’s burn,
July on the MibraOnty
I work upstream
Pool-to-pool,
Tail to head,
Prospecting with Royals,
Coachmen and Trudes.
Some summer days
I throw a chartreuse Deceiver
Or perilously red Sea-Ducer.
My brother-in-law scoffing
At my creativity.
“Sweetwater, you damn fool. Sweetwater!”
A man, you see
with no capacity
for whimsy.
In any event, this is my dream.

January, the snows arc like
Texas Leaguers
Run out of gas and altitude.
I kneel before St. Weber, watching
Pickerel fillets
Brown in lemon and dill,
Think foil bent just right
Might be a flashy indicator.

I serve salmon
On an earthen platter
Garnished with Hairy Marys and Rusty Rats.
The wife says, “You don’t know how you get
When you’re on a kick.”

I believed in Indiana Jones
Before he was Hollywood,
Took five small browns
From the same hole
In a bend of Brush Creek,
Sitting on the bank,
My feet in clay, and of it.
I heard the Potawatomi
Fished this water
Before the Iroquois
Drove the Hurons here to hide,
Chickenshit and baptized
Squeaky Christian-clean.
Cold and slow or hot she trots
The temperature counts
Except at Kelvin’s.

This week two cardinals
Came to the tulip tree
Danced one morning
In snow-covered branches
For the two house cats
Who shivered behind glass
Like hothouse flowers,
This during what the TV
Called
The coldest snap of the century.
I danced with the cardinals
That morning
In my red Speedo,
Bought when I
Was a hundred pounds
Lighter,
My fish-flesh reddened,
The wife in the bay window
With two cats
Mouthing words she reserves
For fools.

 
 
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