I’m sure I could count my age on
the fingers of one hand:
our landlord’s son, a fighter pilot
home on furlough, and a buddy
took my young sister and me
out of town to spend a weekend
at his family cottage
which crouched on high rocks
over a deep dark lake.
My mother may have been there;
I can’t recall — probably she was,
but I can’t picture her there.
I remember going out fishing in
the cedarstrip motorboat,
and I remember the overpowering
smell of gasoline and naptha lanterns
and kerosene and flytox sprays.
We caught two large pickerel
which he fried for breakfast
I had never had fish
for breakfast before.
He dipped them in batter
and fried them in a black iron skillet.
Those were the main fish against which
all fish meals compare. Gordie was wearing
his air force turtle-neck and navy pants.
His bespectacled buddy wore a gray
sweatshirt and blue dungarees.
Mainly I remember the fish
and the times I have spent remembering
the fish: golden, steaming, delicious.