The lifting moon casts
glimmering golden shards
across the darkened lake to where I sit
alone. I glance at the rod inserted in the hole
a prior owner has drilled in the dock.
The hooked minnow attracts. The line tautens,
relaxes, is pulled farther out, again relaxes.
"Come on, Big Fella," I urge softly.
With the inbred knowledge of Lake People, I wait.
The rod quivers, bends; the reel locks; the line sings
first straight out, then zig-zags frantically.
I haul back on the rod. Water explodes silver!
Heart pounding, I work the rippling white wake
toward the dock, scoop the net under the white belly
and lift the dripping beauty onto the dock. For a moment
I look into the unblinking eye, cut the line, and
with my foot work him to the edge. Plop!
He floats belly up, gills working; then rolling
he swims deep into the black water.