Photo by Anne Nygård / Unsplash

How to Fish with Minnows

Poetry Aug 26, 2023

by Charlotte Trumble

Anglers of seven and nine,                      Bobbers on our backs we will not use, we                 Carry our buckets, empty now, to fill,                  Dousing our palms, waggling fingers as bait.                Eagle eyed or                             Freshly dead, minnows may attract a crowd, but left, will            Grow sour like sweat and salt in wilting weather, so we            Hasten to our bucket,                         Inject the ankle-biting rapids with                    Jokes and whimpers of a breeze that whisked us upstream,         Kissing our backs with the spittle of a gummy riverbed.        Languishing, under rocks and roots,                 Minnows work well in cooler waters.                 Noticing our sloshing steps,                  Oscillating,                            Pestered, they scatter, but I cannot                   Quiet the squelch of paired feet, embedded in             Riverbed patterned in                        Sphalerite and sunstone splashed with                  Traces of failing light, peeks of August                Untainted by hooks and nets,                      Vexed only by the lines on our toes                Waterlogged and crinkle creased,                    Xeric but past the point of recall,                   Yearning to return with buckets full, a                   Zeal only anglers of seven and nine may hold.

Charlotte Trumble is a poet and pianist from Mequon, Wisconsin. She studies at Lawrence University, where she learned to write about fish, feelings, farming, and everything in between. Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash