Jed Chambers

We would fish,
and we would enjoy it.
That's what my mother said.
I had never fished before,
so I called you.
At the pier we baited our hooks –
slipped barbs into rancid shrimp.
The shining silver pierced one side
and emerged,
glistening, on the other.
Then we cast.
Yours landed far away
near one of the fishing boats,
but mine landed close –
too close perhaps –
to the solitary black cormorant
who clumsily flapped away
and screamed at me in its foreign tongue.
Then came reluctant waiting.
Finally, I felt a sharp tug
and I saw it –
the blue-white streak
cut through the brine
like harnessed lightning.
A mackerel.
The monofilament stretched taut.
Slowly I reeled it in.
As it lay there,
staining the dock crimson,
you killed it.
“Just a fish,” you claimed.
But when it was cooked
for our dinner
I tasted