Saturday, March 17, 2012


photo: ralph murre

The Ol’ Man’s Tacklebox

by Gary C. Busha

My ol’ man’s tacklebox was green and battered,
dented, rusted, and scratched.
My ol’ man’s tacklebox went into the boat, under his seat,
while I undid the lines and sat on the lifesaver boat cushion.

Out on the reef,
after I lowered the anchor carefully so as not to scare the fish,
my ol’ man opened the tacklebox
and he picked out his favorite red and white daredevil.

The tacklebox had three trays that came out in layers,
and in each tray were many compartments filled with spoons,
rubber worms, flies, spinners, corks, leaders, sinkers,
and the most holy red and white daredevils.

Sometimes the red and white came through right away, but if not,
out came the gold or silver ones, and like him, I tried them all.

Back at the dock my job was to carry the tacklebox
to its safe place on the garage shelf.
Now my ol’ man’s tacklebox, the shelf, the garage, the house,
the boat, and my ol’ man are all gone.

~ first published in Page5