. On the Anniversary of My Father's Death These rainy mornings have a subtle saltTo them that even in the city canBring back the pier, its rugged paint-chipped spanStill wet with early rain, where by default(Too risky for the boat) our soft assaultWas launched: the war of fishes versus man,A battle waged for hearth and frying panWhere every tightening of the line exalts.And truth be told, I didn’t much like fish(Except for fish sticks, very lower-class)And standing on the pier was pretty cold.But rainy mornings I can’t help but wishTo smell the lake as I hold out my poleAnd watch my dad unhook a small-mouthed bass. . . Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Agape Review, America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.