Fishing Trip
by Tom Lagasse

Packed and wearing our best behavior we take flight in our fern-colored Buick Skylark.

‘Look for a dirt opening,’ my father says, as he points to the river side of the road. There
is no sign to greet you when arriving at Satan’s Kingdom.

Carrying fishing gear, blankets, and a picnic lunch, we careen through a narrow path, as though through an eye of needle, that leads us to a clearing along the river.

The air, moist and sweet, is released from the steady current that sluices over glacial rocks and fallen trees. It caresses us as though welcoming us home.

We breathe deeply and give our tension to the river.

My sister and mother unfold thin blankets and spread them over packed dirt. My father and I bring the fishing gear to the river’s edge.

Like always, my mother sacrifices the most for this day to be possible. She prefers
the safety of four walls and the predictability of Top 40 radio to the outdoors.

Quickly, birdsong and our laughter open her heart like her favorite song.

My father, this was all he ever wanted: to pull his family close and be free
of his sisters, his work, the honey-do list, and his past.

The insouciant river washes over him until he is a trout lifting from the water to find a world existed beyond his own.

Our home is intact, although my sister and I are often divided by specific gender roles.
This was an androgynous day.

She proves to be the better son when she cast her line into the heart
of the river and reels in a trout as she shrieks with delight.

And me? There is no peace that needs to be brokered that day. We eat
bologna sandwiches and watch a metaphor-free river flow.

We never return.

In the half century since, time has stretched this day in all directions,
and I float along it. Unable to help myself, I nibble at this sweet bait.

PAINTING: Two Trout & Reflection by Neil Welliver (1994).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For over half my life now, I try to write at least five days a week. Inspiration may be immediate whether it’s at a desk or driving, come from responding to poems I read, or ideas that take time to develop and craft. I tend to keep notes and ideas. While I may not use them, it keeps me in a creative frame of mind.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Lagasse’s poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, including three Silver Birch Series. Most recently, a poem appeared in the New Generation Beats Anthology  By day, he writes.  By night, he works with spice. He lives in Bristol, Connecticut. Visit him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as his website,