The coldly astonished fish vomits the hook
then swims away.
Now we drift—this way & that.
We do not sing.
We do not cast our lines again
because we dare not
tempt the god to rise from the waters
& give us a piece of his mind.
No. We are shy,
so very, very shy
that we sell our boat
& go in search of shiny metal trinkets
the size of a child’s thumbnail.
Sonja James is the author of Baiting the Hook (The Bunny & the Crocodile Press, 1999) and Children of the Moon (Argonne House Press, 2004). Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, The South Carolina Review, 32 Poems, and Poet Lore, among others.