The Tourney by Patricia Hope and Keaton Lake Hope

The Tourney

          If people concentrated on the really
          important things in life, there’d be a
          shortage of fishing poles.

          —Doug Larson

He prepares his tackle box
by adding the buzz bait
and crankbait—his favorites.
He has caught hundreds of bass

with both lures: smallmouth,
largemouth, and spotted bass;
white and black crappie, too—
he landed a three-pounder once.

Each time he casts, he hopes
for a smallmouth—they fight
the hardest, but the fisherman
is confident he can win the battle.

After eleven hours on the water,
he comes ashore, hopefully with five
keepers. And if he’s lucky, a top-five
win before he throws them back

so they can swim, and he can fish,
another day.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Patricia Hope has won awards in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Artemis, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Liquid Imagination, American Diversity Report, Maypop, The Avocet, Weekly Avocet, Plum Tree Tavern, Muscadine Lines, and Southern Writers, as well as Mature Living, The Writer, Blue Ridge Country, and many area newspapers and anthologies.

High School sophomore Keaton Lake Hope has fished tournaments for two years as a member of the Tennessee Bass Nation High School Division but he has fished all his life. He has written other poems and he likes taking nature and still-life photos, which have won several awards. His other hobbies include playing basketball, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and jet skiing.

Image credit: Impressionism image of a fish (staticflickr)