The picture of me with my first fish, which I posted yesterday on Facebook, reminded me of the poem I wrote for CONNECTING DOTS, POEMS OF MY JOURNEY, Boyds Mills Press, 2004, inspired by that picture and memory. Here they are together.
THINGS WE PRIZE
Hidden in the mountains, fed by snow,
The lake was small. We stayed there every year
And got to know our neighbors camping near
In tents like toadstools growing in a row.
I found a secret pool, a little nook
Where I could lie and watch the fish below
But no amount of coaxing made them go
For worms, or bits of bacon on my hook.
At last a fish too hungry to be wise
Took my bait so hard its body shook.
“A fish!” I cried. “Big enough to cook!”
I held it high to show its mighty size.
Even though the lake is far away
I remember posing with my prize
And grinning at our neighbors’ happy cries
Just as though it happened yesterday.
I’ve caught some bigger fish but this is clear,
They’ll never match the thrill I felt that day.
No matter what those larger trophies weigh
The first fish will always be most dear.
(c) 2004 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved