Bait: A Fable of Politics

So it’s this frog, don’t you see, and he’s fishing,
just lying back in his old boat against this log
that he’s got for a front seat, and he’s not thinking
at all, just like anyone who’s fishing,

and mostly finding just the right place
in the small of his back to rest against that log.
Just fishing, like I say, when he sees that
while he wasn’t paying attention, his own bait,

this big perch minnow, has taken hold of his own
webby foot and is eating its way up his tasty left leg,
when the frog remembers that he is a frog!
for gosh sakes, and that’s when Truth

starts eating at him too, and he thinks:
When I’m just sitting and doing nothing
but watching the bobber do nothing too,
sometimes the Big Answers come to me anyway:

like, one way or another, whether we’re princes
or frogs, we all wind up nothing but bait.
But by the time he’s finished with his very short
period of first time thinking,

and the perch has worked his way up to the frog’s
fishing vest, that hooked minnow has proved
the point for both of them,
(and me too, I guess,
when I look down to check out what’s left).

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.