Victoria Ante Sanctum

November 6, 2007
By Dustin Hartong, Kalispell, MT

We were warriors.
Spartans at the time,
Slaying all that dare be caught
into our cunning flytrap.
We held the lines
with the strength of steel, flowing through our wrists
and intertwining our fingers to the rods.

We cast out all those demons we saw as unfit.
We were in for the long run.
Sweat glistened on our foreheads
as a reflection of the slimy scales of our enemies
that lurked beneath us.
Tired, but true,
We fought until the fight was done.

I was 6.
My dad was, well, old,
but a warrior none-the-less.
We were fishermen, true fishermen,
Not the kind you see on magazines
all dressed up and catching stuffed cotton, beaded scaled fish,
We were real.
We caught the bulls that no one dared tempt.
The kind you see in movies like Jaws or Lake Placid,
only in fish form.
We dared not think of defeat;
for defeat was not a word we accepted.

Glasses in place, hat crooked to the side,
Bright radiant colors from our vests hurled across the lake
reflecting our inner power.
We stood above the worms that lay upon the steel ground
of the chariot of the sea.

Heroes, waiting for the moment of the strike,
We were trained in the art, the best of the best,
And no one could dare call us on it.

We made our women proud.
I was young, but slowly understanding the meaning
of a true fishermen,

I looked up at my father, standing so tall,
Giant-like, so that he blocked the sun, making us fish in the shade.

We came home that night, not only men,
But true heroes-
And true to the stories and tales of our earlier battles
out there on the desolate, smooth surface.

I was a fisherman,
And to this day,
My dad and I still fight the lines,
every now and then
Someday, I can teach my kids the way of the master,
Like my father taught me.

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