A POEM ABOUT PIKE
Take the fork sitting next to your plate
and stab it into your hand. You're lucky you're not
swimming. The pike, like a shark, lives
for blood. A big pike will try to eat a full-grown duck.
They'd like to be alligators.
A pike's eyes glow in the dark.
If you catch one watching you you'd better pull anchor.
I once caught a pike in a ditch
and it had a warbler in its stomach,
and another pike, and a Zippo lighter.
A man at work told me he caught a bass
in Pine Lake with its stomach torn out. A pike had gutted it
The pike is a million years old. It's seen every craft
man's invented. It's too voracious for its own good
though, and will attack
a paint-chipped spoon dangled over the edge of a rowboat.
Its brain's about the size of a marble.
The best way to catch a pike is with a sucker
or shiner hooked through the spine.
In Indiana a northern pike mauled a child
playing patty-cake in the shallow water of an inland lake.
The clouds stayed pink for days.
from Downsides of Fish Culture (New Issues, 1997)
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