I Never Did
C.L. Bledsoe

Muddy water thick with roots and a semblance
of banks that drifted with the rains, leveed off
here and there into a brackish pond; all the field
runoff around flowed into the Languille River,
before joining the Mississippi, which meant
the catfish were fat and easy. We'd hang
a canepole over the bushes when we were bored
on rainy days or after the crops were checked,
or set an aluminum boat to drift between lilypads
and stumps, more often than not hooking trotlines
long abandoned, gar with razor teeth, or old turtles.
Dad wouldn't let us eat anything we caught because
he knew what went in there. I used to collect
the oversized hooks in the bottom of my tackle box,
thinking I'd set my own trotline someday.  

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