Russ Kesler: "Fisherman"



          —r.t.k. 1918-2005


Half-ghost in the mist

on some Atlantic beach,

a man ties a fresh knot,

the loops and twists

he knows by feel,

the back knot sliding

home against the snell.


He pulls a bucktail jig

from the tackle box,

red head, yellow feathers.

He’s watching the rip

for the glint of baitfish,

the sun on his back

while the wind stings his face.

Line sings in the guides

then the bait settles,

a wink of fire.


Nothing will turn

this day against him,

not the sun halved

by the horizon,

his last perfect cast.



Russ Kesler teaches at the University of Central Florida.  His collection of poems, A Small Fire, was published in 2001.