CATFISH BUMGARNER: CALL HIM A MONSTER Back

I had a cheap uncle,

Who kept the bait

All to himself

Fishing

The Mississippi;

 

“Take this pole,

You got a good hook there…”

 

So,

All I could do,

Was walk away,

Cast the line,

Drag the hook,

Hope ’twas shiny-sparkling-glittering

In the eye of a fish;

 

Quickly bored, bored,

Bored,

 

’till

Something

Yanked the rod into

An upside-down

U

 

Pulling me,

Slipping sneakers/socks in mud

—mom was gonna kill me—

 

“Whatja got there?”

My uncle reached for the rod

 

I could feel something

Trembling from hook to line to rod to

My little hands;

 

I barked, “It’s mine!”

 

My uncle recoiled,

stepped away, concluding,

“It’s a log!”

 

(It’s then that I realized:

Adults are idiots);

 

Two hours later,

Blood oozing

’Tween hands and rod,

The foe lay sideways in the mud,

A living THING!

The huge hook glinting with each thrash;

 

Sucking in my breath,

Reaching for the gill,

I thrust in both hands,

Hauling that spasming fish up,

 

2/3 the height,

1/2 the weight,

Of me;

 

Now, we got

Silent Bumgarner,

Whiskers twitching,

Eyes half-closed,

Lording over,

Considering everything,

This silent stretch of Baseball Sea;

 

Yes he’s got the shiny stats,

Commentators gushing

Koufax-Ryan-Christy Mathewson-(Clean) Clemens-Bumgarner

But this is not ’bout numbers and hot wind;

This is his baseball zipping,

Smiting,

Dumbfounding,

Snagging,

Snaring,

Grappling,

Clinching,

Tricking,

Condor-like claws puncturing,

Pulling in

One after another,

Quickly, slowly,

Determinedly,

All he needs,

Is 27;

 

They might struggle,

Fight,

Some slip away,

Break the line and take a hook;

 

But patiently,

He’ll fill his skiff,

Once again;

Wordless, grunting;

And we’ll all marvel

At how he does it;

 

You know,

Godzilla,

Didn’t speak much either,

Smiting the bad guys;

Slithering off

From San Francisco,

Thoroughly victorious.