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Lines Cast

Poetry & Prose | October 18, 2010

There, in slanted light that petered and faded across the beach, a capped man cast his fishing line out across the lake waters. It was May; birds clicked and called from the trees that gathered nearby, but that was all; just the birds and the faint hisping sound of the line casting out. The strand hit the water, and it folded and shivered in the wake of the hooked bait.

A family at the shoreline waded in the shallows. They had the flavor and the stance of being new, of being together and united for just a simple short time. Mother clutched the sandy-haired child’s arm; he pulled forward to traipse farther, to follow Father smiling into the depths. They played there in the water, the three of them, for a time.

“Come to the car, Luke! Let’s get warm,” said Mother.
“Oh, but wait,” Father called, “the sun might be coming back. Look at it come from behind those clouds.”
“Oh.”
“Just look at them, Lucas!” Father called; Lucas looked back, heels still just touching the water as he retreated.
“So you want to stay,” Mother said from halfway up the beach.
Father paused and looked up at the faint flicker of sun behind quickly collecting clouds. “No, no,” he says, “that’s all right.” So Mother called to Lucas and took his hand; they walked up the beach. Father sloshed from the water, shook the wet from his hair.

The man down the beach threw the line out again, soft whizzing until it hit the water. And again, the clicking retrograde of the line towed it back into the wound casing on the pole. The birds called and bugs collected on the water, dimpling it with their dance as the light continued to fade.