Humor Poetry posted January 21, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
A traumatic fishing experience

The Wall Hanger

by Paul McFarland

I have a tale to tell you,
And I use no alcohol,
About that giant trout
There hanging on my wall.

The stories that are told around
Test one's imagination,
So let me tell you this, firsthand,
Without exaggeration.

The day I landed that big fish,
I'll not forget, last spring.
The pools were dark and dimpled
With the mayflies taking wing.

The purist would have taken pains
To maximize his catch
By searching through his flies to find
A pattern for this hatch.

But in my years of fishing,
I have learned to use, instead,
A big night crawler, hooked real good,
And half an ounce of lead.

I waded out into that pool
So I might get out past
The alders and the undergrowth,
So I could make my cast.

In water deep and murky
With those little flecks of foam,
I knew that it was here where that
Old squaretail made his home.

With great anticipation
Of a trophy candidate,
I doused myself with fly dope,
Then I offered up my bait.

And in a few short seconds
That old crawler disappeared
Beneath a foam fleck by a stump
That I had barely cleared.

And when, on my retrieval,
That old fish line came up taut,
I thought that I had bottom,
Or some sunken log I'd caught.

I floundered out up to my waist
And reeled in all my slack,
Then reached down to that riverbed
To get my fishhook back.

And when I got down to that barb,
Below that chunk of lead,
I didn't find that I was snagged
But found that trout instead.

And when I poked him in the eye,
That fish became enraged.
Then I got both hands on my pole,
And battle was engaged.

That well-hooked brookie made a run
That made my fly reel sing.
The smoke that poured out from the drag
Caused my poor eyes to sting.

He crossed that pool in nothing flat
And left an awful wake.
It drowned three partridge on the shore
And made the trees there shake.

He wrapped that fish line 'round my leg
And headed for deep water,
And I would not be here today
If I was too much shorter.

And as he towed me 'round that pool,
Things started looking grim.
The chance of my survival there
Was looking mighty slim.

But God was looking down on me,
For then there did arrive
A woodsman going to his job
In his Jeep 4-wheel drive.

He saw me thrashing for my life
Out in that fishing hole,
And he was stunned by all my antics
With that line and pole.

He stood a moment on the bank
Assessing all the facts,
And then he jumped into the fray
With peavey, saw, and ax.

It wasn't very pretty,
But between the two of us,
We finally got the better
Of that monster square-tailed cuss.

So after that encounter,
And I got all my repairs,
I then went after safer game
Like hunting grizzly bears.

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The purists should take note that I have paired up "water" and "shorter" as rhyming words in one of the stanzas. In downeast Maine, that is a perfect rhyme.
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Artwork by BlndzRock at

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