I learned most of what I know about trout fishing on an overnight trip in the Tellico Wildlife Management Area in East Tennessee.  My buddy lived nearby and loved to follow the trout streams high up to their source.  We caught them by day and cooked and ate them by the evening campfires.  As you will see, the following poem both is and isn’t about trout fishing.

the pool was home for them and they
were feeding edibles got dumped into
its upper end by waters churning from
the falls above the morsel he had chased
looked like most any other bug or cricket
tempting tossed bouncing in that swirl
but if he’s so smart why the hell
would he do a thing like that and
what’s the point of
a treat most any
fish would go for he quick grabbed it up
and ran away why him who knows he happened
to be there he asked for it he can
have it we’ll not miss him he’s shown
what he thinks of us
the pleasure he’d
expected turned to pain and all at once
became a threat a struggle for his life
i wonder how he feels he probably
just laughs then goes right on
ignoring us
he’d seen it happen twice
before this thrashing battle leading to
the disappearance of a friend who fought
in every direction then just quit a rotten
shame but really now we’ve done
all we can do
the more he tried the more
his pain increased he’s lost as far
as we’re concerned and
the line that held him
drawing tighter needn’t ask our help
as his freedom shrank it’s all
his fault
like pools when summer’s drought arrives

it’s very hard for a free fish to understand
what’s happening to a hooked one

2 thoughts on “Hooked”

  1. Edward (well it used to be!), I enjoyed all your writing especially the memories of WWII. My memories began with hearing my folks talking about Pearl Harbor (I know I had some questions regarding why Pearl’s needed a harbor). The memories were interrupted for a time when my Dad died in Jan, 1942, and WW memories continued when I was “resettled” in Sweetwater. I hope this finds you well and ambulatory. Glad you “enjoyed” your Percocet. One day I will tell you the story of my relationship to P. paul

    1. I had not thought of Sweetwater TN for years but I lived in nearby Loudon in my Carson-Newman College days. Sweetwater is where there was a textile mill when I was a child and my parents would drive there from our town of Maryville to buy wool scraps. My mother made hooked rugs and other items from the wool scraps. I would be interested in your “P” story, very interested. I have been walking unassisted by crutch or cane or walker for several weeks now. Can walk up to a mile at a time. Slowly but surely. Am riding my bicycle in the basement on a stationary trainer device. Stay well. Ed

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