Fishing With Daddy

My dad was approaching 50
when I was born so we were
in different generations.

After the last of my siblings had
left the nest,
there was only me, a small,
asthmatic, quiet child
who loved reading more
than anything else.

One day Daddy said,
“How would you like to go fishing,
little one? I bought you a cane pole.
It will be fun!”

So we went to an area lake and
he taught me how to throw out a line,
again and again,
because I kept getting the hook
caught in my long, windblown hair.

We fished, mostly in silence,
for a couple of hours.
Then we went home, passing Pinkies,
and buying barbecue on the way.

This became a habit for a couple
of years.
Daddy would say, “How would you
like to go fishing?”
I’d always grab my pole and say,
“I’ll meet you in the car!”

We fished and fished and fished.
We went to different lakes.
We talked about his work,
my days at school,
and my favorite books.
We were silent sometimes.

We fished and fished and fished.
We never caught anything.
We just fished.

Finally, one day, at
White River Lake,
we each caught a fish!
Such excitement!

The fish were so small,
they would barely make
two fish sticks.
So we threw them back.

We never went fishing again.
Only later did I realize we
had been catching fish all along,
but not of the scaly variety.
We had been fishers of
each other.

I caught a lot of fish on
those trips.
Mostly I caught
that my Daddy loved me
and had found a way
to get to know me,
all while sitting on lakeshores
and fishing piers.

© Elaine Wood-Lane

L.D. Wood BD 1968

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