Today's poem is by Tracy May Fuad

For the Fisherwoman


A girl who curls up in her seat is a hook
and a plane is a big metal barb dragging
people from place to place and a place
is a hook that wants you to make it a home.
A good home is made out of microhooks,
each with arms of string as thin and clear
as fishing line & long enough to stretch
around the world three times and still
pull you homewards. I'm hooked on you,
I've said before, before the hook bent
out of shape, became a nail in. my foot.
I remember learning of Thomas Hooker &
Robert Hooke one month in seventh grade &
having a heyday. One had discovered the cell &
we had discovered what hooker meant, were learning
that words were slick as fish straight from the lake:
playing hooky, hooking up, "it" as in doing" it."
We were wet-lipped and hadn't yet felt
the snag of years plunking into the bucket. Imagine
peering through a microscope and seeing solidity
shattered: everything built out of boxes. Wondering,
were you too made of mostly emptiness?


A line is a way we pretend we can see
one another: think phone line, pick up, line of sight.
In line we tap our toes ho-hum politely
when what we really want to do is shove a stranger,
cut ahead. We put the best kid in front & we give
him a name. We line up the bad guys, point
fingers, cuff wrists. When the line breaks
we lose our lure & allure and the fish gets away.
When caught on a weed or a log or a boot
in the mud in the depths of the lake

cut the line, start again. If what you see
is not aligning with my vision we can
call it quits instead of trying again.
A curve is a line that turns away from
what it is. A curve is a line in denial.
A line never ends, never touches, just
does its thing to the way out fringe of space-time.
A line is a start and a finish. A line is what keeps me
from you. A line has no width. A line is a lonely thing.


A daughter's a sinker & won't
fit in sink-baths for long. A sinker
keeps bait below water where all of the panfish
are feeding: the bluegills, the pumpkinseeds,
the long-bodied crappies. A girl is a body that's morphing
toward yours at a fixed rate until she is not
you at all. & she can catch her own fish now
& clean them, scraping the scales
off with spoons scary confident as moons
of pearly circles decorate the indoor-outdoor
carpeting where she works & she
is frenzy now, a scale stuck to her forehead
like a third eye, seeing, seeing. She'll
scrape the scales into the earth where
rhubarb grows & one day what once
was fish will be baked into pie.


A lure is how to love yourself
when looking at the weedy lake
for windless hours and seeing
your reflection made of string
as clear and thin as fishing line
which once was wrapped around
the world ten hundred ti mes.
Touch your tangles. Find a lucky lure
of hammered metal, evil eye &
hang its three-pronged hook
from where you are knotted &
tied to yourself to keep from
getting lost. Remember: you tied
the hook to the line & baited it.

Copyright © 2016 Tracy May Fuad All rights reserved
from Ninth Letter
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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