Lures

For Scott Harris

Last summer’s fishing failures dangled from trees:
a Rapala and Jitterbug a stand
of privet paid for, half-ounce jigs with rubber skirts
and jelly worms with wide-gap hooks on ten-pound test
we tithed with overzealous casts at bass.
Then off we’d go (our stringers bare) to find
a yard to cut, a truck to wash, so we could fill
the tackle box we shared again. Today
is 12/12/12, the Mayan end, and I,
a country boy in Brooklyn for the week,
will hail a cab for the first time and think
of cows unnerved by fish we missed
and shouts of “shit” that followed, and dawns to dusks
and always back with you, my childhood friend.
Our girls will never know that pond’s deep hole
a baseball diamond now fills — the city leaders’ bright
idea — or how their fathers sitting in the bleachers
on Saturdays a couple decades later
can almost feel the stinging nettle against
their thighs, the lunker largemouth sweeping the bed
with her tail while plastic lizards jerk and drag
across the third base line, or how when we
untrain our ears to baseballs cracking bats
and bitchy parents, called strikes and alike,
we hear the peepers sounding off in oaks
on down the way, our mothers’ and fathers’ voices
calling us home not too far behind or ahead.

More Poems by Adam Vines