Fishing trip that never happened in Elkhart County Highbanks, Indiana
by Daniel Neff

  1. Sew scenery into the hardwood
  2. or crochet a landscape:         canoe
  1. rushing away
  2.                  from your
  3.                         hands,
  4. dropping your paddle —
  1. lost in the highbanks. Each treeface
  2. abandoned. Their oak knot-eyes
  1. doubling for brains.         I refused
  2.          to touch the worms,
  3. and we never went fishing again.
  1. The sandbar across from Violet Cemetery
  2.                 again: dried juniper berries
  3.                         tissue the gravel ground.
  1. Still, the paddle stalled out of reach —
  2.                  gap mouthed bluegill below
  3.                  suspended in damp
  4.                         dread — and the canoe
  1. drifting away from us.
  1. I’d dig through all the worms to try
  2. this over again —
Packingtown Review – Vol.15, Spring 2021

Daniel Neff's poetry has won an American Academy of Poets Prize and has been published in Zyzzyva, Ninth Letter, and Whiskey Island, among others. Daniel lives in Ann Arbor, MI, where Daniel has taught creative writing and English composition at the University of Michigan and with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit.

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