Poem for Writers

Following a Line 


It was you, always you

whose scent of muck and shallow

I loved and lingered after. You,

who led me out to the heaven

of still hours holding a line,

my eyes drawn down a length

of quivering monofilament

through the mirror of water

to the invisible fish below.

Later, it was you who listened

as I wished for something big to bite

instead of the minnow nibbles

that made me hungry with boredom and desire.

You, whose strength pulled me shouting to my feet,

set my shoulders square as I turned, turned

the resistant reel to haul in the prize

you promised patience would provide.

Even now, it is you—

your own pole long laid aside,

who is with me still in these long afternoons

of sitting beside the pond of literary purpose,

your steady voice reminding

me to stifle a rush to reason, to instead fish

for what catches in my throat, what feeds me,

by following a strong line deep into my own stillness,

where something consequential

will surely take the bait.

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