Author Joseph Heywood
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First Outing of Spring
[April 25, 1993]

Spring and still snowing,
the first time out
in new water,
clear and fast over
black-ocher gravel
the size and shape of mountain oysters.
I cast the riffles
with a nameless nymph,
a dozen times,
letting it curl back
to me in a whirlpool
over a black hole
and see motion,
a quick gray shadow beside
my right leg, striking hungrily,
glad for spring,
hooking itself
and me.
A gray-green native,
seventeen inches,
gloriously muscled,
scared too, like me
quivery old warriors, the two of us.
I have no hunger
for the flesh of fish
or warriors,
let it go,
arrive home,
satisfied.

Did you read the booklet
Regulations on cheap paper,
babbling of bureaucrats,
paper pushed by statute,
I don't keep fish,
I remind her.
Good thing, she says,
since you're ten days early,
out of season,
still a selfish boy,
in love with yourself.


 
 
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