down in Sunburn, Carolina

down in Sunburn, Carolina
I hadn’t seen him in years
tho he wasn’t much changed
his skin fitting a bit more loosely these days
he’d a bit less hair, to shelter his thoughts
still, caution stalked his words
a memory of notions, become daggers
we spoke of old times
father and son
we spoke of wills, and of burying your own
the dark lake held a Bass
in its shimmers
and shadows
she was a wise, old girl
thick ‘round the middle, nearly two feet long
wiser than the thousands of fisherman
who had come before us
countless fragile men
privately aware of their mortality
as they tossed in their lines, determinedly
upon seeing her, watching us warily
I knew that I would never fish again
and we stayed, mostly in the shade
speaking of old times
father and son
down in Sunburn, Carolina

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