Tying flies with my father
in the evenings in the garage,
my vice holding a size 16 hook,
wrapping it in thread and feathers
to look like food for trout,
I could never tie the mayfly right,
made woolly worms, a simpler fly,
as well as anyone, used them to pull
browns from Rocky Mountain streams.
But the mayfly required a level of intricacy
my young fingers could not achieve.
Pop told me to keep trying. So I did and I did and I did
and not a single one of them
landed in a river.
SHAWN PAVEY is the author of Talking to Shadows (Main Street Rag Press, 2008), Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 (Spartan Press, 2015), and Survival Tips for the Pending Apocalypse (2019, Spartan Press). He co-founded The Main Street Rag Literary Journal and served as an Associate Editor. He recently completed two months as a Poet in Residence at The Osage Arts Community. A graduate of the University of North Carolina’s Creative Writing Program, he likes his Tom Waits loud, his bourbon single-barrel, and his basketball Carolina Blue.