It was dough balls and stink bait
mixed days before,
then we had to wait for
the night of the full moon.
We’d go at dusk to Lake Afton,
spread out Grandma’s old quilt,
bait the hooks, loft them out,
set the tensions, and wait.
In the darkening night,
with the water-cooled breeze
chattering the cottonwood leaves,
we would listen for the whine of a reel
or the flop of a giant cat,
as the cicadas packed seventeen years of buzz
into one blitz.
And later we would eat
white bread sandwiches
of cheddar cheese and mustard,
and I would squint
at the moon-rippled water
from my spot between Mom and Dad
and imagine my life.

[photo] Photo by Joy Gough, do not copy