I found my father in pauses

between syllables,

dangling from a participle.

He waited for me, his semi-

colons were lake-water

chilled lures,

drowned and disguised

figure-eight night crawlers,

or drenched Velveeta cheeses

we brought along

in his wooden skiff.

Some waterlogged expressions

bloated in the hull,

got soft and stunk

in the midmorning sun,

drying harder than

plastic shavings

or broken eyeteeth.

How many sentences were

cast into the depths

waiting for a trout mouth,

trolling from the stern,

untangled with a twisted line

after carefully selecting the spinner?

He patiently showed me

how to angle

where the spoken word

had fewer points

than a barbless metal hook

and all of the fish

slipped easily away.

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