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  • Todd Wooten

The Fisherman

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

fisherman, with hands cracked

like an arid desert floor

skin so weathered the sun

renounced its burning efforts

observing through bushy eyebrows

truths that pass like dragonflies


rowing unhurried, oars splintered

straw broom dusting the liquid

surface winds carry the uproar

of motor boats, jet skis, planes, cars,

accelerating, roaring, speeding,

louder, faster, erupting, daring


the world to a race, to spin, to rotate,

to whirl like a top through the

days, weeks, years, tossing them,

hurling them to the close of life

moments of regretful enlightenment

precede the final breath


fingers lift a worm, piercing

the hook into the sad, segmented dance - unfair perhaps - but

the worm will one day be

awarded its underworld revenge


casting to see the ripples

escape from the bait

this is real, not a shadow

passing on the wall of a cave,

anchored to the ground, entertained

by the procession, as Plato wrote


younger days, he needed no boat

swimming miles and miles

tempting Atropos and her shears

seaweed tickling his legs

fins scratching his feet

sinking, rising in the waves


finding the pulse of the earth

a nurse holding a wrist

man is formed in the water

to the water he should go

reeling in the line, reeling

in the memories, he rows

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