Catch and Release by Grant Clauser

Wild forsythia lean their yellow
tongues over the cutbank
where storms gouged out
the land. Trout that lasted
winter hold below the boughs
like wind chimes singing
in the current.

What counts is touch, skin
on skin, not the knife sliding
down the white belly,
revealing white meat
and blood. I’m happy
enough to know there’s fight
in life, gill flaps pumping
against strange air.

I pull the barb, bloodless
from its speckled jaw.
Fiddleheads unfurl their gestures
around me. Everything
that leaves comes back
one way or another.
We may touch it all
one finger at a time.

Grant Clauser
Grant_Clauser-grantclauser9_optGrant Clauser is the author of two poetry books, Necessary Myths (Broadkill River Press 2013) and The Trouble with Rivers (Foothills Publishing 2012). Poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, The Good Man Project, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, and others. He also writes about electronics, teaches poetry at random places and chases trout with a stick. His blog is