On our way to Little Hole
we paraded with bamboo poles
and bean cans full of fat worms,
snatched at night from the soft loam
under the lilac bushes.
The return march marked by dried
fish slime that curled from our hands,
like shavings from a carpenter’s plane,
as we swung milky-eyed trophies
back and forth.
It wasn’ the sport that hooked me,
nor the meager meat on bendable bones.
It was the giggles and screams,
the general panic among the girls
as we tried to swish catfish
whiskers across their skinny legs.
This poem first appeared in The Orange Room Review (February 2008).
Used here with the author’s permission.