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I was too young to know him well as a trout fisherman.
Grandpa would sit on the far edge of the dock
Casting lures to lake trout
While I dunked cheese for perch.
He always wore a hat, even at night,
So his bald head would not burn.

Later, he fished the ocean from a pier.
Early mornings would find him
In the fog, casting bait into the calms between breakers.
Whenever he caught something, he would announce what it was,
Whisper the names:
Croaker cod. Sea trout. Barracuda.
Corvina. Bonito, which he said meant
Beautiful in Spanish.
He had a gentle voice, even when impatient.

Now he is gone and I walk a different pier
With my daughter,
Watch the catch of other fishers
Hauled on deck,
Hear my soft voice whisper
Ling cod. Chinook. Rockfish. Cabezon. Halibut.

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Benjamin Green

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