On Fishing

My brother stopped by my mother’s house to pick up his kids. He had been fishing up at the spillway at the lake since early that morning. It had been a chilly day, and he told us a story about how he’d been standing out on an outcropping of rocks when a large swell of water had washed over him, and how all the other fishermen along the banks had laughed at him. He said he didn’t leave to warm up in the car because he’d lose his spot. He told me about how one could sink one’s bait swiftly to the bottom of the outlet if you hit it just right; how the water rolled out from the walls of the outlet to meet in the middle, and how this action created special spaces of stillness, both on the surface and beneath the water, and how that space beneath the water, where the concrete walls of the outlet met the floor, was where the fish would gather to rest, and where he could expertly sink his large minnow bait, slicing through the contending push and pull of roiling water.

"Fish 1" by Danielle Nelisse
“Fish 1” by Danielle Nelisse
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