We rise before the sun
and drive through the dark.
They are waiting when we
arrive so we don’t have to
find our way.
The boat is small but well cared for.
The sun begins to rise as we pass
a rock arch on our way out to sea.
The colors are soft and lovely behind
the clouds which look more like
paintings then real life.
The water still churns from yesterday’s
storm. Sea water sprays our faces as
we crest huge swells, momentarily
unable to see land.
Our captain soon learns that like him,
we too belong here. He sings as he works,
with all of us in our bare feet.
Our first catch comes quickly, small
but delicious he says. Then another
who could be his brother, probably
from the same school.
Soon we reel in another but he wriggles
and jumps from a wet hand. Lucky fish.
Two men curse loudly in Spanish as
he swims away.
With 4 lines in the water we wait.
But we do not have to wait long.
Another bite and a Dorado shoots from
the water. He fights hard, twisting
He calms and swims cautiously towards us.
But he is coming too easily – a premonition
perhaps, our captain meets him at the side
of the boat with the gaff.
The big fish bolts,
but it is too late.
the hook is in him
and he propels himself
wildly into the boat.
I become as small as possible as the men
finish their fight. In the meantime I see his
colors and snub nose up close.
He is beautiful. A unique animal, looking
almost prehistoric. (later I will see his skull
on my back porch bleaching in the afternoon
sun. Beautiful and stark. Museum ready.)
We leave the boat content, smelling of
sea and sun, pink skinned, disheveled