Time to time, from time,
I open the box
to look at my collectibles,
a bug-eyed, black Crazy Crawler
that might spastically swim the lily pads
on aluminum "wings," a Jitterburg
in the cartoon, chugging frog pattern, both
by Fred Arbogast, a nervous man
I'd guess, during WWII. Most valuable,
a balsa shad, hand-made by someone,
painted like a Miro, nothing in nature.
What I like about the past.
All the treble hooks.
There in trays the silver blades,
spinners stamped and plated in Akron,
in Sheboygen, when we made things.
And hand-tied salmon flies from Scotland:
a Jock Scott and a Silver Doctor,
each in its crisp, cellophane envelope,
feathers bright and gay as Eden.
So fine when hooked in a green felt hat.
How could a fisherman use or lose
such gorgeous baubles?
They lie side by side, an array,
talismans in original condition,
though it troubles me
when charm needs be "mint."
I love the Heddon's jointed minnow,
a chartreuse dace with measles,
its paint gashed by at least one