"I Had Planned" | Poetry Contest | Indy Week

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"I Had Planned"



to scull to the pool where words churn

like a school of fish when they are running

in the sea. To drop my line into its depths,

pull words out one by one, some fairly

jumping into the boat, others putting up a

fight. To string them into lines with hooks

that could haul to the surface places in you

never reached before

But I was snagged by the telephone

with lines that string from pole to pole,

baited by conversation. There was no limit

on minutes that slipped by, slick

as an undersized fish from the palm

when released to the sea. We spoke of the lives

we live separately, with shared hours as rare

as the sight of walking catfish, their fins a pair

of crutches that carry them back to water

the way your voice carries me home. The current

swirled our words as they darted line to line,

swam the miles between us, reeling us in

almost close enough to touch--but not quite,

as if we had each taken the bait, left an empty

hook on the other's line.

When I sat down to write, your words

whirlpooling in my head, I found the boat

afloat in mud and knew I'd have to wait for rain.

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