And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. Anais Nin


It Takes More Than Being Female

Presidential Politics 2008: The Search for Estrogen
By toni

for karen

It’s a search for roe, the eggs or egg-laden ovaries of a fish.

an overcast day
Alaskan streams are late summer cold
not many swimmers
no fish to speak of
maverick techniques will get you nothing
there won’t be grandiose stories tonight

fly fishing requires a long rod and
miles of line
keen eyesight, patience and
a flexible wrist

stand for hours in
waste deep waters
endure dead drifts
watch the hand-tied lure spin, shiny

today they fish in
the vagina pool of nominees
a few old sturgeon swim past
they won’t survive the fight
November is a long ways off

the waders search the shallows
no northern pike
no carp
cast the line further
make huge rippled circles
reel in
cast again

the pool is nearly empty
no brilliant colored minnows on
its clear bottom

cast wider
there must be one bright fish
in this enormous pool
one symbolic fish
ready to lead the school
scatter her eggs
in controversy
and defend
them at any cost

she’s frisky
reel her in
convince Fish and Game
that the license makes
up for experience

too small to keep
yet, this fishing party can’t throw her back
she’s a light snack
not a hardy meal
but the only one hooked by the artificial fly

this catch is not worth
the time it took to tie the lure

she flops on the bank
with a few sharp scales
behind the gills and

they do not notice
the rest is undeveloped
and still too soft
to eat

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