Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Ladyfish . . .

If I were a fisherman,
I'd try to hook you,
you skipjack, tenpounder, 
Spanish hogfish, slick and fat,
a poor man's tarpon at up to 22 pounds,
you bony shrimp eater, 
dubbed by the Greeks a serpent.
Most catch you 
for the sheer pleasure of the fight, 
throw your bony body back,
into murky coastal waters,
not good eating, but
I'm not a fisherman.
I'd rather swim with you
out into the deepest parts of the sea,
and when the babies come, tiny larvae,
transparent, translucent,
I will sing to you, and your
half-eyelids will quiver at the sun.

Read what others are writing for the A to Z Blogging Challenge HERE.

I do love fishing, don't mind getting up very, very early or gutting out a nice salmon, not at all like buying fresh-caught fish from a store. But this poem was inspired by three things: a copy of The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales sold this morning on Amazon, the word "ladyfish" (really evocative) jumped off the Scrabble list of "L" words, and Wikipedia filled in the blanks. The ladyfish actually is long and skinny and very bony, but to a hungry fisherman, I think it would look sleek and fat.


  1. Beth, I have never seen a ladyfish, although I have certainly seen a lady fish. My brother Larry was an avid fisherman, but I was never good at it.

  2. Thanks for visiting, Bob. My grandfather taught me to fish, and although my husband doesn't care for it much, he'll take me now and then. One of my fondest memories is fishing for salmon in Alaska at Turnagain Arms, the salmon fins breaking the water at dawn when they swam upstream.