It’s one of those mysteries
attaching to the double-nickel crowd,
how short-term memory kangaroos,
reducing life to earthbound
about sunshades, eyeglasses,
my right wading boot,
the hat last seen in Edie’s Log Cabin
Bar, where we contracted Karaoke fever,
bellowing “I got friends in low!
reading words off a VDT
hung from the ceiling like a fat black bat
and later Robochef sits on a grass mound
above the Birch Run
trying to tie on a #20 something, looks up, asks,
You got those flip-down clip-on magnifier doohickies?
I know I put them in my vest, I know this.
In the vest they went, a vest so loaded with dupes
And trips it would serve as Kevlar against
It’s in the vest, you know, with five lighters,
two clippers, a notebook and pen,
the H2O-proof camera, extra 400 ASA film,
A couple of small lights to find the trail
In the woods after dark,
two pliers, two forceps,
a half-dozen fly boxes held together with rubber bands,
a purple rabbits foot,
amber and gray lens sunglasses,
a net on my back with two connecting gizmos.
a brace of watches, an extra Croakie,
tippet spools from 0X to 8X,
both extremes unlikely to ever be used,
a spool with sinking line, a rain jacket stuffed in the back pouch,
two measuring tapes, a tube of strike indicators and split shot.
I stand there patting myself down hoping for the easy find,
finally resort to opening Velcro pocket flaps and secret compartments
on the eighth or ninth try, find it and hold it out to Robo, thinking
I have to get an extra one—just in case.
Robo grins through his Muslim whiskers,
How come you carry all that crap?
“It’s good for the memory, I say.
“You want the damn doohickey or not, you ungrateful SOB?”