I have a subscription to Southern Living Magazine, but I don’t get a chance to sit down and look through it often. I do make a point of reading the last page every month, which is Rick Bragg’s column. This month instead of writing his own column, he used his mother’s poetry. I really enjoyed it and it got me to thinking about how more people ought to write and read poetry.
I’ve been writing poems since I was a little kid. I can make them up basically at the drop of a hat. Whether they are any good at all I don’t guess really matters, since I think most of the world has moved past any appreciation for a good poem anyways.
I went fishing at the pond Saturday morning and I wasn’t catching anything. I had my phone with me in case I caught a whopper and needed to get a picture of it or in case I saw a plant that I wanted to identify. I keep my phone in my boot while I fish, but since nothing was biting I decided to take it out and type out a poem about the morning.
Here she is in all her glory, and maybe now I will start telling everyone I’m a published poet:
Though it’s the first day of May, nothing is biting today. I fish with all my might, but the sun’s just too bright. A bass teases me in the clear water. I could have caught her if the clouds would have covered the sun. But the heat just spoiled all my morning fun. The geese and their goslings wander around. They are ready for me to be on my way. I guess the rest of the fish are resting sound, on this first day of May. Is it bad bait or just bad luck? I’m about ready to go home and give up. Finally I hook a bream so small. It wasn’t fast, but I caught one at least. Now, I stand up tall. I’m sure to catch a feast. Determined now, I make cast upon cast. What’s that by my boot? A snake! A snake! Shoot, Shoot, Shoot! Don’t make daddy’s mistake and get bit. This day sure isn’t giving me grit. Leave the geese and fish alone to play. I’ll catch a monster another day in May.
That’s the end of it, and it’s a true story, except I caught two fish, a little bass and a bream. I had another bream on the hook, but he got off. I don’t like to catch bream because their mouths are small, and I still prefer if my Dad takes the fish off the hook for me. Other than that I didn’t get a bite.
There really were two geese on the pond and they had three little ones following them all around, so it was a nice morning for observing nature.
But, I was standing there with my phone in one hand like some kind of modern day Robert Frost writing my poem about fishing. I guess I had my pole resting in the crook of my arm or something, I just remember looking down at one point and there were all manner of baby fish looking at my lure, which was dangling in the water.
Then it happened. I heard a noise. I looked down just in time to see a snake slithering into the pond right by my boot. I did yell, “Snake!” And I took off running. When I came upon the geese they got their feathers in a huff and splashed back into the water.
I don’t know what kind of snake it was, and it wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I had snuck up on it. But when a snake sneaks up on me, well I don’t care for that.
Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at email@example.com.