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Image by Richard R

Fish it forward
By Vern Fein

Fishing with dad,  brothers, sons,   

daughter, grandsons—

a stringer of memories,

vacations at the lake, sunrise,

sunset paints the water,

reflect the brilliant colors.

Bass, crappie, perch, 

blue gills, Northern pike— 

gag at guts while

learning to clean.

Late night fish fries.

Don’t swallow the bones.

Cram down white bread if you do.

Snuggle under heavy quilts

against the northern cold. 


Now in old age,

I look at my poles—

did I need that many?

Gear in the garage corner,

no more to battle fish

who won or lost.

I think of a future boy, 

ragged T-shirt and jeans,

holey tennies, cowlick proud.

His parents found the poles

my kids donated

to the local charity store

after I passed. 


He squats on the bank 

of a local pond,

weedy and dank, 

grips the old,

but still shiny pole,

smiles as he

launches the worm.

A silvery fish

will leap skyward,

thrill that boy’s heart

as mine did when

my dad exclaimed

at my first tiny bluegill,

as my grandsons did

when we pulled in

that largemouth bass. 


We will never know each other.

I am not sure this will happen.

But it could.

Image by Amelia Bartlett

A recent octogenarian, Vern Fein, has published over 300 poems and short prose pieces in over 100 different sites. A few are: Gyroscope Review, Young Raven’s Review, Bindweed, *82 Review, River And South, Grey Sparrow Journal, and Rat's Ass Review .  His second poetry book—REFLECTION ON DOTS—was released late last year.

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