On Threading Hooks

by Ellen Zhang

What you seek with your little eye
So finely attuned through “I Spy”
Cherry lollipop, hopscotch chalk,
Lipstick, winding fingers, big talk
Meandering down the shallow waves,
Although the river, own path it paves
Winding through levels and layers,
Deep within mangroves hands in prayer
The sweet delicacies that you reach
Are still beautiful even if not what you seek.

Smoke lingering within monochrome trays
Father tells of the fishing trip near the Potomac Bay
The sun just opening her crusty-eyed lids.
The reeds supple arms to me they bid
Meanwhile. Slowly, gently. Hooking, killing. Critters.
Between ironic good fortunes of palm lines, withered
Fishing pole slick and sharp
Bound to catch targets like darts
Behind. Shoulder.

Waiting for the plop
Merging of water.
Waiting for satisfaction
Like Coca-Cola on hot days.
A tug on the line and my
Nimble hands
           Mama, get the oil fried up.

Catching not
Bass, salmon, tuna
But boughs of disappointment
A fat dad and
Never ending stories of“When I was a young….” 

Author Biography: Ellen Zhang is a freshman at Harvard University. She enjoys running, baking, and drawing. Additionally, she teaches classes of creative writing to elementary students.