Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Fish

A prose adaptation of Elizabeth Bishop's poem.

I wriggled my toes in the water sloshing in the bottom of my canoe and a beetle bumped against my foot. A green spider scuttled along the hot aluminum, wobbling like it was dancing with the burning metal. When it hid in the shade under my seat, I baited my fishing hook and tossed it into the green water. Then I closed my eyes and let the sun flicker orange over my eyelids and freckle brown across my shoulders. Dangling my hand out of the boat, I ran my fingers through the lake water and felt the weeds slither through my grasp like water moccasins. 
            Suddenly my fishing pole moved and I snatched it and reeled in fast. A tremendous fish jumped out of the water and landed on my foot. He didn’t wriggle or flop. He just stared up at me with eyes that were bigger than mine and tarnished, like dirty tinfoil. I reached to pull the hook out of his lip and found that it was tangled in four or five pieces of old fish-line. They looked like medals hanging from his bloodied lip, and I stared and I stared at them floating in the water and the victory in the bottom of my canoe. Then the sun caught the edge of the hook—stuck in that old fish’s lip—and light glittered over his tinfoil eyeballs and sparkled on the hot aluminum canoe until everything was “rainbow, rainbow, rainbow. And I let the fish go.”

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful! I love it.

    Random story of the morning:
    I am soooo sleepy this morning. I was having such a hard time waking up while stumbling into the bathroom. I figured a shower would wake me up. Well, upon opening the shower curtain I found a COCKROACH IN THE TUB! I ran out of there so fast (grabbed a towel first!), trying not to scream in the house at such an ungodly hour). I composed myself, then went back for a peak. I decided perhaps I could stick a cup over him or something (Tsukasa technique). BUT HE WAS GONE!
    I'm still quite shaken by the event.
    My cereal is getting soggy. Gotta go.
    Love and miss you!