by Wendy Visser
Ontario, Canada

Up and in the boat
when dawn lights the bow,
sound of fishing reels
stretch toward the horizon
while cast lines
as long as morning
float upon the water.
In day's haul
with fish on their sides
skins slit from head to tail
I think of my father
during shock treatments
and how he flip-flopped
like fish before gutting.
Done to burn off the depression,
as if orphaned young
then war-time soldiering
and lost suns
are surface things
an electric prod can fix.

When he comes home
he is just an ember
of his old self
the hook still in his mouth.

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