Cast into the Deep [rev. 2-20-2019]

Cast into the Deep

The net,
a loose and slack woven cross-hatch of rope,
descends past the shallows and out of sight
into the darkening abyss.

Wait. And Wait. And wait
as the whole coil of rope,
fastened to the net,
unwinds leaving only the end
at hand–then–pull.
And pull. And pull.

Call your brothers to help
as your weary arms strain
and your aching hands,
knuckles white,
grasp tighter around
the dripping rope,
guiding what must be a host
of fish toward rising light.

As the net, overflowing,
breaches the surface,
you lean to clutch the rope–
an overlapping weave of crosses
no longer loose,
but taught and straightened:
justified and righted to bear
the rich weight
of so many fish.

The net,
made of so many crosses–
tightened though not torn,
is brought through your long labor
to the alighting dawn
warming the wind upon the waters
and on course for the shore.