My father held the unspoken version of this story
along the bridge of his shoulders: This is how
we face and cast to the river — at angles.
This is how we court uncertainty. Here, he taught
patience before violence — to hold, and then
to strike. My fingers carry the stiff
memory of knots we tied to keep a 40-lb. King
from panicking into the deep current
of the stream. Back home, kneeling
at the edge of the tub with our kills, he showed
the way to fillet a King: slice into the soft
alabaster of the pectoral, study the pink-rose notes
from the Pacific
, parse waste and bone from flesh. Then,
half asleep, he’d put us to bed, sometimes with kisses.