No tag and pull, nothing approaching a downward
yank, just a dawning awareness of a heavy current
counter to the attitude of my rod’s reaching tip. A
partial reel to check, and as suspected, rising in a
mound, the turtle grass prop-sheared or dissuaded
by the brown algae, given advantage from runoff
upriver. But amidst those grey-green blades, a clown
grimace of grouper. It is an unexpected catch. The
biggest fish I’ve ever had on, and besides little rocky
structure, I’m fishing from shore. The beachy slope
never draws such goliaths. My trudging revolutions
bring him near faster than reasonable. Is the thing
swimming toward me?
Ashore now, the fish gives way to an upright form. Tall,
lithe, with flashing eyes, he speaks with apology in his
strangely accustomed tenor. We are together until the
turning of the tide, this new love and I.
In the morning, all the tourists are evacuated. A breach
at the plant, for too long under wraps, has been proven
by the loudmouth researchers to cause mutations among
the sealife. The health effects to humans remain unknown.