On the island in the river, grasses flattened from animal sleep.

Baskets emptied. Even so, I step around. Part willow switches,

tilt at that same angle, then rejoin the current upstream. A

killdeer wades. Persimmon leaves flash broadside in the pocket

where I knew trout had been. Somewhere, a man’s body reckons

to limestone. A boy sights his first rifle. We draw symbols for

cumulus and nimbus, build instruments for measuring wind. I lie

down on the logjam knowing today the warmth of this year will

end. My chest vaulted as the whitetail’s ear. She will cross the

river back, but only in my leaving. Only at dusk.   

This article first appeared in volume eleven, issue one of The Flyfish Journal.


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