Jed Myers Memory's the thing. The fish hooked on the end of that string, hoisted high, a live iridescent disc, perplexed eye on each side-- it hung like a lone wind chime . . . My grandfather hollered like the kid I knew he was, You caught that sunfish! But he lied-- he was the one who'd lifted that life to the sky, out of the public pond on the map of my memory, that day in Fairmount Park. I was five, the air far brighter than older eyes could admit, the crowd of waders a sparkling carnival of spirits come to shine incarnate in the earthly light. But memory, kind servant, might protect me here--maybe it was I who hauled the sunfish out, dragged it onto the sand and dirt among the soda cans, cigarette ends, and tossed wrappers. Did I poke it with a stick? Was I six? Was the fish ours? Perhaps an older kid beside us, 45 who'd learned to pierce the worm with his hook, had let us look. All I'm sure of's this-- I saw a thoughtless dying radiant thing--it hung, gasped, turned in the stir of useless air, in the wind
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jan 9, 2010
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