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if I didnít unhook him the fish would soon die

so I looked in the back of the truck

I found a small knife I reached down his throat

and cut the flesh holding the hook

he was finally free of the metal from me

but the fish had one fin in the grave

I put him back in the churning sea wrack

and he went belly-up in the waves

Iíd killed him for sure so I pulled ashore

I figured itís me or the birds

and there as we sat with the fish in my lap

a most magical moment occurred

 

now most people would say that a striper looks straight

that its eyes are fixed in its head

well this fish turned one eye and looked right up at aye

as if to say ďIím not dead!Ē

 

so once more we went back in the water

Iím sure we were quite a display

I walked him around he seemed to rebound

he went from belly-up

to his tail sticking up

and his nose pointing down

like a whale when it sounds

and then slowly the fish swam away

 

you may ask why I went to such measures

for one striper Iíd caught on a squid

such a beautiful fish deserves its last wish

and I still had last nightís catch in the fridge

 

and itís let the bass swim

I released the real McCoy

I like to stand with my toes in the sand

and learn about patience and joy

 

you can trust this story Iíve told you

every wordís as it happened says aye

believe what you wish I revived a dead fish

but itís well-known all fisherman lie

 

and itís hey hey haul the bass in

Iíll do it all over oh boy

I like to stand with my toes in the sand

and learn about patience and joy

 

 

© 2018 by Rob Siegel. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

13 Ė The Fish Story

 

Nantucket Iím fishing vacation

itís relaxing to cast off the yoke

Iím spending my kidsí education

when I say that, they think itís a joke

I spent years casting only for bluefish

theyíll bite on a cigarette butt

for striped bass you need squid or mackerel

and a good deal of old-fashioned luck

surfside beach my prime spot at sunset

the stripers were starting to bite

with a twang the rod bent hard over

and I hung on with all of my might

 

and itís hey hey haul the bass in

I think itís the real McCoy

I like to stand with my toes in the sand

and learn about patience and joy

 

the line whizzed loud and fast as the fish took my cast

but I worked him just like a pro

I let him run Ďtill it tired

then started to reel him in slow

a big striped bass on line will run lots of line

Iíd hooked a big fish no mistake

when I reeled him in oh what a grin

a striper the size of my leg

 

and itís hey hey haul the bass in

Iíve reeled in the real McCoy

I like to stand with my toes in the sand

and learn about patience and joy

 

I dragged him up out of the water

with the sun setting had a good look

the joy I had earned turned to concern

he had totally swallowed the hook

 

I worked hard with the fishermanís

pliers again again

trying so hard not to kill

it was swallowed so deeply

embedded in tissue

and taking too long the fish drowning in air

three times I took the fish and the hook

and the rod and the reel back down to the surf

walked the fish back and forth

to flush oxygen into his gills

 

 
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