Catch and Release, a poem by Ryan P Norris

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Ryan P Norris

I have a little dog, about the size of a bluegill.  Her tail end swings back and forth when she walks.  Late in the darkness of sleepy time in my living room she trolls the floor, sniffing, the way I imagine a small fish sniffs for drifting morsels in a cold lake after midnight, after the retirees climb ashore and their aluminum boats rock against moldy docks.

She circles my legs and I snatch her up in the net of my hands and she squirms on my lap.  Snow packs the windows and a flame ignites in the tin box called furnace.  A long blue flame stretching along the furnace grate.  She wiggles, wanting free, black marbles in her eye sockets shining.  I lift her barrel chest on my palm and lower her into the dense darkness.  She shoots away, her tail end back and forth, into the emptiness, towards the deep heat.

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