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Salmon Poetry

Midnight Rainbows from Devil’s Kitchen

Jon Tribble

for R. G. J.

The lantern dims and sputters the little light
we need to wait in the dark for the lines
to pull, release, pull, and—taut at last—

set the hook and play the catch around
the other four lines waiting, their purpose
to weigh the night in against our careful

measurements and patience.  A constellation
of baitfish scatter like some new universe’s
primordial moment, the crappie and shad

bumping the nearest poles slink into green
shadows beyond us, and now the headlight
floating in its foam ring illuminates the flash

and run of this twenty inches of muscle
straining against its life’s breath burning
up the blood.  We’ll net and ice the fish

soon, cut the length and spill out what’s in
back to dark shelf of oxygen layered cold
below us in the table of the lake, but now

the splash and dash, the leap of color
our eyes can only hope to prism holds
us here until the limit, and brings us back.

Copyright © Jon Tribble 2017

Poem from And There Is Many A Good Thing

And There Is Many  A Good Thing

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