Tackle Box

Tackle Box
by Jehanne Dubrow

From the weight of it,
the way its contents clicked and rubbed
with a sound like artificial wings,

you would have thought my husband 
was a collector of silken miniatures, 
hand-tied flies for catching fish.   

But inside were the insignias of his work—
pins in the shape of oak leaves,
shoulder boards, ribbons, 

oceans of obedience
in those shipshape compartments. 
And, watching him search

for a ceremonial medal,
it was easy to imagine he was looking 
for a nymph or minnow, blue

damsel or yellow sally,
as if gone to war
were the same as Gone Fishing.

And when he found the gold length
of braid or the sleeve device
and lifted it from the box,

he was like a man who loves
those still Sundays on the water
and could already picture his line

far over the edge, cast out,
a green deceiver knotted at the end,
waiting for something to happen.

Issue number: 
Author biography: 

Jehanne Dubrow is the author of five poetry collections, including most recently The Arranged Marriage, Red Army Red, and Stateside. Her work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The New England Review, The Southwest Review, and The New York Times Magazine. She is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas. "Patton" and "Tackle Box" come from her sixth book, Dots & Dashes, which won the Crab Orchard Review Series in Poetry Open Competition Award and will be published in 2017.