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A Fishing Song

I have never killed anybody
Except a gopher, and some fish.
I blatted fine gold hair all over hell's half acre
With a shotgun beside a road.
And one fish among many, a sunfish, I liked.
I cut his throat, and I ate him.
Whatever is left of the gopher's little ratface,
So far more sensitive than a song-thrush's face
When you see it up close,
Blows on a prairie somewhere.
Minnesota's dead animals are too many
For me to remember.
Yet I live with and caress the body
Of the sunfish. One out of many,
I caught him out of sheer accidental daring
As he tried to hide in the sunlight.
Leaping toward the Marsh Lake Dam,
He pretended he was merely a little splinter
In the general noon.
I knew better about his life.
Sweet plum, little shadow, he feeds my brother,
My own shadow.


This is so close to a perfect poem. I expect the speaker's shadow-brother is his death.

December 4, 2005 in Poems | Permalink