Glass Poetry Press

Volume Two Issue Two

Jeff Streeby

River: Soliloquy 1

Even slathered with foul-smelling oils, I am always pestered to distraction here by a nimbus of hungry mosquitoes. I don't know why I bother. I never caught anything but a single gar, that slender river predator who is nothing more than Permian teeth and fight. Once, how many years ago, I saw Mort the undertaker, come fresh from an afternoon funeral, walk this path in sober formal dress carrying his rod and bait can. Strangely, in his starched shirt, his silk tie, his Brooks Brothers suit, and those expensive hand-lasted wingtips, he was not out-of-place though he was dramatic in black and white, shiny as any magpie. He was lucky too and he soon filled his long gill-stringer full of nice cats. He stood right on this spot, softly whistling Big Band tunes my father could have named. Nearby, a gar's fragile skull sloughed fangs, and this ancient drowned bone, now disarticulated, still rested underfoot in its damp socket of clay.