|Apr/May 2009 Poetry|
Fishboy, a human-size carving, and my daughter stand side-by-side in a picture taken in Port Angeles. She has one arm around his girth and a smile teases her mouth. She's survived two relationships since, neither ending in marriage, just children. They are beautiful children, more attractive than the men who sired them. But I wish she had married Fishboy. A salmon dressed in lederhosen and T-shirt is surely smarter than those two men of hers combined. Rather than reeling him in from some backwater tavern, she would only need to search the nearest river to find him. Making love might take some adaptation, learning to dig a redd, then ovulate in it could be difficult. At least she could count on him being with her every fall. She would get used to his absences at sea—sailor's wives did—and she would know where he had gone.
I would net Fishboy a job with the school, start him at the bottom of the ladder and let him struggle upward till he had learned to leap the pitfalls of bureaucracy. And I would be proud to introduce him to my colleagues at the club—
"Meet my son-in-law, Fishboy," I would say, my arm draped around his hump and he in a navy blue suit, white shirt with red power tie. "He is bull salmon at the university."
"My, that is a nice fish," they would say.
"Yes, he is still bright and firm after fighting his way upstream."