Spring 2004

Playing Catch and Release with My Father


Holding the stuttering torso
while trying to silence
the gills’ accordian searching

for the music of oxygen,
a moment of marvel ensued
when I noticed his writhing back

turn into a slice
    of northern-lit sky
and thought he might

also be five
and fearful of being
pulled from school.

But fearing losing
my father’s growing esteem
if I released such

a trophy fish, the rest of the morning
I listened to the trout fin
the cooler’s melting ice cubes

and, that evening,
before drifting into sleep’s
whitewatered dreams,

found the flyline of memory
“catching and releasing”
that morning’s sublime yearning

to release such a wondrous being —
wondering if, like the fish,
such a grandiose feeling

returned larger
and more colorful
with the next landed rainbow

or, in this adult world,
just how big “you” had to grow
before simply learning to

hold such a tender notion,
take the quick photo,
then let it go….


Second Homecoming

Two of Wichita State’s outdoor sculptures, Love and Grandfather’s Horse, return to campus this spring after taking some time off to freshen up.

Playing Catch and Release with My Father

A poem by Dennis Camire '94