“I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna” – Billy Collins, “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July”
He says: I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna.
She says: Oh, you remember. It was the time Dad took you boys to the Mississippi and got you all ice cream afterward.
He says: Mom, that’s the Mississippi. You said Susquehanna.
She says: Did I? Well, it was the time Dad came back with a whole load of fish.
He says: We never caught anything. Dad took us to the river five times and we never caught anything.
She says: I was gutting fish for days. Fish heads everywhere.
He says: We never caught any fish. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Billy and Jerome and me. No fish.
She says: The kitchen smelled of fish for days.
He says: Dad never took us fishing, Mom. Five times to the Mississippi and he never took us fishing. (Beat) It was the riverboats.
She says: Riverboats?
He says. Gambling, Mom, gambling.
She says: That’s the Susquehanna. It’s on the Indian Reservation.
He says: I never fished on the Susquehanna.