baiting hooks

baiting hooks
the twins flick the heads
of wriggling minnows

silver scales flail in the air
attracting blackflies

blood is up for grabs
in the summer heat

wind mixes with yellow fire
howls over the lip
of father’s corona

he stuffs a lime down the neck
to adjust the pitch
traps his thumb

laughter shakes the twins’
warm bodies closer

they drop their hooks
for anything that will bite

Questions and Answers

What inspired “baiting hooks”?

Baiting Hooks comes from a series of Siamese poems that were written for my first book, The Velocity of Escape. The sequence itself is very personal, and involves my childhood and my relationship with my younger brother. The poem draws on my specific memories of fishing with my father; we really didn’t fish to catch anything, it was much more about the relationship that we formed.

This poem “baiting hooks” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 191 (Winter 2006): 85-85.

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