I'm in the basement

tying flies. Spinning deer

hair into wings. Wrapping

black thread into thorax.

Elk hock fanned out between

my fingers.

The measured

imitation is all costume.

Bobbins and floss, tinsel,

beads, peacock herl, quill,

bucktails. I try to follow

your patterns:

Butcher, Blue Doctor,

Thunder and Lightning,

Yellow Ghost, Devil Bug,

Pop Eyed Badger, Lance’s

Phantom. Father,


Not a minnow,

but an imitation of a minnow.

Not a stranger, but estrangement.

Not a father, but an imitation


I twist the thread

just right around the hook,

attach feather and eye. Not

a mayfly, but an imitation

of a mayfly.


Angie Mason lives in Duluth, MN, where she works in the library at The College of St. Scholastica. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has poems recently published or forthcoming in Arkana, Midwest Review, and North Dakota Quarterly.