A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2009, vol 5 no 1

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John Dunphy

Fish for Dinner

The best fishing hole is just downstream from where Pastor Jimmy baptizes the new members of his church. Some of them old boys must have raised some powerful hell before joining the church because, after a baptism, their washed-away sins drift downstream and end up in the fishing hole. Whenever I see a fish or two floating in the water, I know they were poisoned by those washed-away sins.

You think I'm funning you? Well, I'll let you in a little secret. I was married to the meanest woman in the world for darned near thirty years. One day I decided I couldn't take no more. Pastor Jimmy baptized one of the worst moonshiners in the hills and, before too long, a big old catfish was floating dead. I took that sin-soaked fish home for dinner, but you can bet I didn't eat a bite of it.

dinner table
the dead woman face-down
on a half-eaten catfish

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