Catch and Release is So Fish

Always it’s about the small ones,

the not so shiny ones, the wrong ones

that were the gullible ones

losers tossed back after flopping

in full view for clicking pictures

of what not to reel in

unlike the other kind of catch

and release, a kindness to veterans

of the pond, denizens of the deep

who own the deep pockets beneath

brush and only make mistakes

once every season, a kindness then

in recognition of size, valor

you’d think I’d know enough about the

first lot, guilt by association, those stinking lures,

treble  hooks dangling lies, that I wouldn’t leap

one more time to the singing of the line

as it spins out but it’s taken many seasons

to learn that what’s snagged on nearby limbs

is all that’s left of the promise, cobweb filaments

rusting hooks, sore thumbs, left after release

so now I watch out for battered tackle

boxes in the beds of the 150s, spot

a jumble of rods and reels on the gun racks

faster than Grandma spotted white sales

just buy fileted salmon, firm if pale cod

mahi-mahi or even shark when I’m feeling

intrepid, all dropped in a quick sauté

a whisk of dill on a single plate

beside a single glass

sit later on the rim of the pond

listen to the frogs, their knowing croak.