My Son Caught a Twelve Pound Grass Carp

by Joe Benevento

“On purpose?” his Uncle Ross, a Fisheries & Wildlife worker, wondered.
Joey nodded how he’d baited his hook with a leaf from a cottonwood tree,
kept casting to where he had seen that big dream rising from the river.
My son finds fishing more fulfilling than breathing and about as necessary.
He will pursue ponds where only bass and bluegill belong, but prefers
the river or vacation ocean forays for their wider range of possibilities.
To someone like my son, each cast is a prayer
each retrieve the answer than can feel as empty
as a no, but which the faithful translate always as just not right now.
Then comes the hit, the tug, the resisting weight electrifying
the line with the iridescent glory of life itself soon
scintillating like burning bush fire in your grateful hands. 

Joe Benevento’s work has appeared in almost three hundred publications, including Bilingual Review, U.S. Catholic, Dappled Things and Poets & Writers. He has had fourteen books of poetry and prose published, including: Expecting Songbirds: Selected Poems, 1983-2015.  He teaches creative writing and American literature at Truman State University.   

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