The Big Fish Story
by Mary Stewart Hammond
Late fall and not a soul around for miles.
Just me and my man. And those scallopers
trolling a few hundred feet offshore I’m pointing to
say no, non, nein, nyet, nej,
in every language including body English,
to his idea that we take off all our clothes
smack in the middle of the lawn
in broad daylight and go swimming!
This is the line he throws me: “But, sweetheart,
the young have given up scalloping. Those
are all old men out there. Their eyesight
is terrible.” which explains why
I’m naked in the water off the coast
of Massachusetts on the fourteenth of October
and loving it, the water still summer warm,
feeling like silk, like the feel of his flesh
drawing over my skin when we’re landed
on a bed, so I swim off out of his reach
lolling and rolling, diving and surfacing,
floating on my back for his still good eyes.
I know what he has in mind and what
I have in mind is to play him for a while
for that line I swallowed, delay the moment
I’ll do a slow crawl over to him,
wrap my legs around his waist, and
reel him in – just the fish he was after.