Saturday, January 31, 2009
Deerfield River by Luca Penne
Fly fishing in my baggy old waders. The stream hisses and twists, concealing fish that sneer at my clumsy but hand-tied flies. Here comes the wall of water from the hydroelectric dam a mile upstream. The operator must have sounded the warning horn. Oh dear. My waders fill and I topple into a greenish brackish world that smells like my old grammar school. Down we go, go, go. Weed waves, the hair of a freshwater mermaid. Now I see her porcelain breasts, fog lamps in the gloom. She smiles but her smile is a trout’s and I realize I was the bait all along.”Catch and release,” I gasp, “Catch and release.” The river sighs a familiar river-sigh and I wash over shallow ledges, regain my footing, and put a hand to my cheek. A blood-kiss has blistered there, and I bend my rod over my knee and snap it, the shock twitching through me and short-circuiting the power lines engraved on the pouty sky.