POETRY His Line He can lose himself on this end of a rod, wrist flip delicate as a fin whip, his cast single-mindedly accurate as an eddy circulating against the current. Way way down inside the rod bends, so invisibly slight a graduating curve, black line arced across the bluest sky. Texas blue is a wide-eyed, innocent color. It has no past, no chains, no just-got-back-from the-valley-of-death darkness burned blue into his night-sky eyes. He is outlined large against cloud giants. They burst in an eye-watering white that could not get any brighter, this Texas sun raised to its infinite power. And his line fine and taut as a vintage silk thread from the slip that Liz or Lana or Marilyn wore to catch the lights on silk’s slow curves when you and they were new A liquified shimmer sliding along goddess hipbones waxed your eyes shut against the loss of who you’d always been washed up on coastline rocks.You turn your head, and lash yourself to the mast to ease the sight of unspeakable beauty intent upon its fishing. Desperate to stay inside yourself, safe from the hum of him, your ears sealed against the silent buzz emanating from this fisher man, you find your mind the sharp barbed hook on the other end of his line. Flying with Mother Her 96th Year Closing in on the sun just now, bright red Easter glory reaching up out of the Gulf, setting the clouds afire to melt our wings, she asks, and plunge us to the sea? Unwrapping her grip light as feathers on my arm, Our wings not wax, I say, we ride pink clouds today. It is not the sun; it is reading Mother’s palm that circles every moment holiday red, in the air or no. Right now she will not warm, cooling skin stretched thin as time, red nails unreal as ice-carved swans. For our walk down the beach today there is the old fur coat passed round the Ladies Bible Class she’s taught since time began. She strokes its sleeve and smiles, Right now this very minute they are asking Where is Mabel? She is flying with her daughter. They are heading for the sun. Jo LeCoeur j o LeCoeur lives in San Antonio. An aficionada of Texas lakes, rivers, and the coast, she noticed the intensity that Gil Chamartin focused on his fishing. Naomi Shihab Nye. 4111103 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21
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