The Jack Pole Fisherman and The Sea

Upon the throw and the yank, a huge, bright tuna flew out of the sea.

In the air, it said, “Really now, is this necessary?”

Then the jack pole tuna man said, “Really now, it is — for me it is.”

The man was far from where he had been born.

So,” said the sea, “You live, begin and end in me.”

Then the sea swelled and washed in over the stern of the boat, over the racks the man was standing in and over the man, up to his chest, over his cane pole, bent over the tuna, and it washed out again.

The tuna flipped in the wave and sprang onto the boat.

Sixty years passed.

A fishing boat came again to this place in the sea, just as the sun was setting, not with poles but with ashes, and with family and friends. It was a calm summer evening.

And standing in the stern of the boat, the son of a fisherman, out of a small box, threw his father’s ashes into the great, sloshing sea. And then the sons of the son of a fisherman of the sea threw flowers out of other small boxes onto the smooth water, the setting sun above, the white flower petals floating in a line out behind the boat.

For a moment the flowers were seen on the water, among the ashes, and then there was a flash of bright color as a calico bass took a minnow on the surface.

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