The trout

It was across the river, the rise,

they always are
A trout, neb just showing, rose to something unseen,
a wild, untouched trout with no name
There! It rose again
A slow displacement of the river’s surface,
the rings of the rise echoing,
and I can hear the slurp through the low evening light
(And again, three times now)
I guess at mayflies; I’ve seen a few,
brief life burning brightly, supernova’d into a single day,
and now, all DNA transmitted, merely a crumple of leg and wing,
half in the surface,
half out of it
What do they see, the trout?
Pinpricks of light drifting through their window,
or bodies ripe for picking?
Whatever, they see something, that’s four times
I could be more than content to just sit and watch this rise as the light drops
and the day’s cast is retrieved,
but there’s this rod in my hand and…
Later, the day drained like the last dregs of a pint at closing time,
I walk back through the water meadows,
the dew gathering up to my thighs,
and the trout, still rising,
and the black mettle of the river sliding past.


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