The fish eye
By: Brian Baker
The fish eye stares
at you. Incriminates,
right up until the hook
pops out of its center,
a 3D effect, looks to be
headed for your heart,
straight from the fish’s heart
to your own.
Tony and I
climbed into this wrong world
one hot day. Found it
under a bridge outside
of town. We even arrived
there the wrong way, by car,
when it should have been bikes,
in halos of dust.
On this wrong day
we caught the right fish
(one fish, between the two of us),
it swam up from the bottom
to bite again, as it had before.
We both remember this same fish
from years before, it had followed
us through winding waterways
to here. It eats from the bottom,
is prehistoric, takes the hook
in many places: the mouth, deep
into its gills, through the backbone.
who got there the right way,
watched us do this, take their place
for an hour, show them how to catch
the big one, over and over again.
It is the same fish,
it is caught one way,
it is caught in many ways,
looks up at you through the mud
with one round eye
cannot be killed.
Brian Baker is a poet living in London, Canada. A previous poetic version of him published work in such places as Dandelion, The Antigonish Review and the University of Windsor Review. The more recent and revitalized version was winner of the 2020 Poetry London open theme contest.
"Tony (who is now, sadly, departed) and I often would just throw our rods into the back of my car and head for the countryside. Most of the time we didn't even know where we were headed but would drive til we found a spot which was as importantly a pretty spot as it was somewhere we thought there might actually be fish. This poem was the result of the juxtaposition of the wild expectations of young boys versus the contemplative exercises of older men. As well, I attempted to touch on the sometimes adversarial nature of hunting the fish/ being hunted BY the fish!"