A rod jammed into the sand
the thin line from its tip to the sea
and him down the beach
picking up broken angels’ wings
with a boy’s faith
in what swims in deep water
when suddenly, raptly, his rod bends
and he pounds towards it,
towards what is silver and struggles
in every boy and
flushed, he reels it in.
What next, he never thought.
It leaps and gasps in his hands.
Note: Matanzas Beach, near St. Augustine, was named to commemorate Pedro Menendez’s 1565 slaughter of Hugonaut settlers there. Menendez justified the murders by saying it was not Frenchmen he had killed, but heretics.
Lola Haskins is a director of From the Fishouse. She is the author of eight collections of poetry. Matanzas is from The Rim Benders (Anhinga Press, 2001).
Poem, copyright © Lola Haskins, 2001
Appearing on the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse