As the Salmon Runs Grow Thin
Our daughter has put herself
in hospital again.
I spend the day beside her,
talking, laughing, abiding silence
like two anglers on the lake,
late September silver salmon run.
Lying in her pink, kitty-hooded onesie,
responses to the doctors,
she seems once more the three-year-old
we welcomed as a foster child,
who hankered for the salty pop
of salmon roe. In her early teens,
for anything to numb the pain
overtook her spirit,
fierce as instinct flinging
spawning sockeyes into rocky streams,
tearing scales from their flanks.
She awakens, folds her tattooed arms
across her belly, smiles and says
I love you, Daddy.
My soul has caught a shoal of cohos.
My nets are full to bursting.
Leland Seese’s poems appear or are forthcoming in RHINO, The Chestnut Review, The Stonecoast Review, and many other journals. His debut chapbook, “Wherever This All Ends”, was released in 2020 (Kelsay Books). He and his wife live in Seattle, where they are foster-adoptive and bio parents of six.