Jessica Scout Malone

director // actor // girl in motion

for my father, the fisherman

My father is a fisherman.
Early-riser, kit packed and ready
greeting the sun
with a fishing rod salute.
Careful to respect the rules
never over-fishing
taking only what is given willingly
plus a little bit of bait. 

My father is a fisherman
casting and casting
pulling in only what is fit to keep
and throwing back the rest.

My father is a fisherman
(even though he rarely brings home fish.
He doesn't believe in labels.)

My father is a fisherman because he loves the sea.
The vastness comforting
the wind still finding hair to whip through
the water never too cold for a dip
or a cannonball.

My father is his best out at sea
with nothing to guide but the whisper of the wind
a distant shoreline
and a GPS selected after months of careful research.

My father chooses the sea
5:30 am
too much bait and too little fish
all risk no reward
and back again every Sunday.

My father chooses the sea
7:45 am
every weekday
trading school of fish for school of children.
This time the fish come to him
to remove the hooks that have caught them somewhere else
and back again when the school bell rings.

My father was at sea long before he found the ocean.
I think this is what drew him to the water.

My father taught me to understand the sea.
Getting tossed and turned
and holding my ground
coming prepared but never afraid
rubbing the salt off my hairline
water too cold for a dip
but choosing to cannonball anyway.  

My father taught me to love the sea.
It rocks me like he used to.

My father taught himself to know the sea
guidebooks and magazines
and experience
and experience
and experience.
The depth does not surprise him.
He has a very good anchor.