The short life of a brook trout is contemplated after it was eaten for dinner. Trout are a dime a dozen, said the children, who caught the wild fish. By TOM ABSHER
It’s my night for dishes so everyone has left the kitchen. There on the cutting board the head of a brook trout we had for supper. A brookie to the kids who caught it. I look at the face, the dour fish face with its flat eye. At the table we talked about eating animals. The children won’t eat venison — Deer are spiritual. Trout are a dime a dozen. I know what they mean, but while I ate I kept thinking about the fish, its lifetime in the lake, how it travelled all day through layers of color down into shadowed zones of boulders and sunken logs. About its being drawn to sunlight polishing the water’s surface, brilliant, a fish’s heaven.
Holding its body perfectly still in a cold current feeding the lake, watching with those eyes that never close, how like a god it must have felt in that sliver of flesh which was its heart.