The Blue Crabs
I remember the splash the water makes
after being displaced by the metal net.
My father would fling it over the pier
and we’d watch it sink to the shallow
green stretch of ocean. A tug on the line
meant the blue crabs were taking the bait.
Saturdays after midnight, after your two-to-10 shift,
we’d sit out with the other families waiting
for high tide to pull tomorrow’s dinner
into our net. You’d bring up our flailing catch,
and dump them into a Styrofoam cooler.
We’d sit for hours listening to a.m. talk radio,
repeating this quiet catch and release until sunup.
And then at some point, it stopped. Maybe
I was too old or you were too old for this,
maybe we went deeper into ourselves
into the ebb and flow of father and daughter.
Tonight I drop a line into murky water,
feel the tow of fresh catch dragging our net
back toward the shore.