A poet witnesses a child’s first catch.

We watch the video of blonde Sigrún
three years old in pink boots
fishing in the fjord with her Afi.
She flashes a gap-toothed grin
while reeling in a wriggling codfish
with a little help from beaming Afi.
The fish is half her size.
Soon she will eat part of it
in order to grow old and wrinkled
and, with luck, half-remember
the pleasure of catching something
wet and slick and still alive
surrounded by those who adore you
just for being alive yourself.

“First Fishing” from The Chain Letter of the Soul by Bill Holm (Minneapolis, Milkweed Editions, 2009). © 2009 by Bill Holm. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions.

This poem originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Anglers Journal magazine.

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