I never was much of a fisherman
until I fell in love with one.
Even then, I always carried a book,
snacks, a thermos of coffee,
notebook and pencils.

He did what he could to keep it interesting.
We bet on first fish in the boat,
biggest fish,
most fish.
He usually won, and he wasn’t always graceful
when he didn’t.

He was more patient.
I treated fishing as an active sport—casting,
retrieving lost lures,
casting again. And I learned
to relish the good luck:
an excellent crappie hole
sand bass feeding frenzie
the hard fighter I let go to fight again
the short story I sold about one rough day on the water
my fishing man

Once, he sacrificed his favorite pole to save me
when I fell out of the boat in a snaky creek.
Lost my glasses, too. Always figured
there was a catfish down that creek
who was suddenly able to see the difference
between a live worm and a hooked one.

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