On My Son’s Graduation from High School by Leonard Kress

On My Son’s Graduation from High School

         “C’mon, Take Down Your Fishin’ Pole
         and Meet me at the Fishin’ Hole”

My great-uncle twice-removed composed the lyrics to
the Andy Griffith show’s theme song, which all of us know
has none. Even my son who has never seen the show
could whistle it– if he could whistle, something I should
have taught him some time or other. Or taken him to
the fishin’ hole (those forgotten lyrics) which, when he
asked the difference between a hole, a lake, and a creek,
I wouldn’t know. My father never took me fishing.
Instead I guided my son to The Compleat Angler
by Izaak Walton, with its quaint dialogues between
the hunter and the fisherman, who’s called Piscator,
who makes the case that fishing is meditation, prayer…
yet another craft I should’ve bequeathed to my son.


Leonard Kress has published poetry and fiction in Missouri Review,
Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard
Review, etc. His recent collections are The Orpheus Complex and Walk
Like Bo Diddley. Living in the Candy Store and Other Poems and his new
verse translation of the Polish Romantic epic, Pan Tadeusz by Adam
Mickiewicz were both published in 2018. Craniotomy Sestinas appeared
in 2021. He teaches philosophy and religion at Owens College in Ohio.

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