One More Cast

One More Cast

Lightning strikes flare out like burning threads
running jagged from clouds tips to treetops
as rain slices down the far end of Prairie Lake,
and although for over twenty-five minutes now
I’ve been pointing out the darkening clouds to him,
those obese black sky-tides dripping wet with rage,
my father decides he’s going to take one more cast
before the storm hits, and even as his blue and red
Rapala arcs thru the charged air, sounds like angry
freight trains echo across the seven miles of open water,
buffeting the aluminum boat made smaller now
in the aftershock, and so he shrugs at me like a child
caught in a minor lie, and reels back in as I get up
from the bow seat strapping the loose gear down
with bungee cords and closing the yellow tackle boxes,
take my assigned place in the stern, passing
the livewell full of Large Mouth Bass, and he turns
the key hung from a buoy-shaped bobber and starts
the Evinrude outboard, aims directly into the swells,
heading toward home as the wind pushes up wave
after wave and with us pushing straight into them,
the Ranger skims the top of one before diving hard
into the next, cool spray shooting over the gunwales
and into our faces, mine at first grimacing, his hidden
under his hat brim, and so I focus on his back, once
muscular from a life of outdoor labor, his thin hands
gripping the wheel, still with the confidence of a life spent
on or near water, and I relax back into my seat, let the rain
cleanse my face, stare up into the gray, and forty minutes
later we pull into his plywood boathouse, wet and sore
and suddenly I am laughing, my father looking
younger than his 75 years, the smile still spreading
across his loose face, the ends of his mustache lifting
skyward like the white caps rising out there on Prairie Lake.

Paul Scot August

Published February 2010 in Poetry Quarterly, Volume One – “Carried Over”

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2 Responses to “One More Cast”

  1. Wow that’s a great one Paul. ‘m so glad you’re getting your work placed. It’s wonderful to read them all.

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