NEAR THE FALLS
His gray line,
fed through gnarled fingers,
will feather back on looping grooves.
Arthritic hips and knees
will dip and spasm
in the undulating rhythms of an old angler
trolling the sun-danced river.
A hand-tied orange fly
will whisper off his oiled reel,
kiss and skim icy water.
A stuttered north wind will scatter
A silver trout will graze against his legs,
a grazing he’ll no longer sense
through faded green waders
that drag and slant past
He’ll cast and recast
farther into converging currents.
The orange fly, splitting the chill air,
will shoot past
bounce seamless granite, jerk
airborne, circle an oblong loop before
a quick sting downstream.
Numbing currents will dull old regrets.
In gathered dusk he’ll tack
ancient legs into
The down-rushing. The muffled roar will draw
his settled mind.
A slow smile will rise to pale eyes
that came to know what he can’t see.
Flicking his line
in a silent arc over serrated falls
he’ll watch how the orange fly,
welcomes the roaring edge.