Mouths shackled, dead or dying,
the bluegills, rainbows and browns
dangled from shiny metal
my father had thrown like chain
into the shallows, noon sun
shivering the lake’s surface
like mirage as snake doctors
zigged and zagged—deep-blue needles
threading air. My bobber snagged
again in reeds, hot and tired,
I entered a grabble of briars,
tightroped a creek-board to where
my parents lay on a bank
blanketed by cove-moss, each
turned to other, my mother’s
hand tucked inside my father’s
half-unbuttoned shirt, his hand
brushing ground-lint from her hair,
and in that moment I knew
I did not belong to them,
not in that moment, and though
the gift of that summer took
years to unveil, something stirred
even that day when they came
back to me, my mother’s waist
cradled by my father’s arm,
his free hand reaching to lift
the stringer. I remember
how it surfaced glistening
like a crystal chandelier,
the fish shimmering color
as if raised in prism-light.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ron Rash's poem Price Lake: 1961

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