The Angler or How to Tempt Fate Without Really Trying

I went fishing

I don’t know why
I had no talent for it
The wrong mindset
The wrong temperament

Nevertheless
I was drawn to the water
Like any common rover

I cast about
Having seen others do the same
But I, without skill or touch
Artlessly toying with the wrong bait
Relied on that least attractive of offerings
Luck

My pole lowered
Pointing at the water
I awaited a sign s

All senses bent Toward some slight change of gravity Some magnetic tremor Or electric spark

..

..

And then …..


A spastic shock
As my pole snapped upright
To set the hook

There was life
At a distance
Beyond sight but not beyond perception

She must be the big one I stupidly thought
My hands fumbled
I made haste in my panic

The line cut the water without parting it

Still, I managed the thing
Despite my inexperience

Perhaps the fish was inexperienced as well

I caught, I thought
I knew not what

Recovering a measure of calm
I tried to understand the Morse code of its struggle

It seemed
After all consideration
That it must be something small, even delicate

Reeling ‘er in
We closed on one another
She must have sensed the nearness of the surface and her ultimate exposure
For the fight in her increased

So much was communicated down and back the filament
Of our attachment

In a way, I feared that water

In a similar way, she must have feared this air

The two of us grappling
From our opposing oceans
Aroused by the unknown

I was excited
And
As I have said
Inexperienced

I pulled too hard

Of course she got away
The thread was intact
But the hook had never properly set

I looked at the water
For that was all there was to look at

Neither of us had anything of substance to show to our kin
But in my egotism I like to think
We each took a souvenir
Something
However intangible
To remember the other by

It is clearer to me now
That in her passionate flight
She was not indifferent
But it was I
I was the one that was hooked

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