FISH TALES Second Place: Fishing with Family: A Small Tale of Seasickness by Jen Karetnick


Inspired by: Samuel Ogren, Sr., Father of Delray Beach Architecture fishing with family


A Small Tale of Seasickness

by Jen Karetnick


My sister began the day by chumming

her stomach’s contents into the sea;

my brother followed as if to bring

tarpon, barracuda, shark to empty

our strength, pit their histochemical might

to fast-twitch away our sour history.

But in the end, it would all be for naught.

There would be nothing to make into hash,

no victory after a mouthy fight.

Every drag of the hook was one last wish.

Had this been what we’d been looking for?

No, we would never together go fish

again. We sunk the truce in the waters,

brine preserving the best of our natures.

Jen Karetnick is the author of seven poetry collections, including American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016)–which was a long-list finalist for the Julie Suk Award–and The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016), which is a 2017 finalist for the Poetry Society of Virginia Book Award. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The, The Evansville Review, Foreword Reviews, Guernica, The McNeese Review, Negative Capability, One, Painted Bride Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Prime Number Review, Spillway, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Waxwing and Verse Daily. She is co-director for the reading series, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami).