the meadow beside the house with the marsh
banked by the 401 ramp holds many
flowers and bugs and birds. he wakes up with
dawn and avian racket through the open widow.
he once would get mad and shout out shut up
birds, but these days he pulls on his clothes and
goes downstairs where no one is stirring and
into the porch where he steps into his boots, gets
his rod and outside, his worms in a jar
from under the boat where he put them last night
and off he marches past the school where he'll go
everyday in the fall and he likes that though
other kids don't and through the big schoolyard
with the dewy wet grass and the sun
is just lifting the sky. the trees of the forest are
still black and in shadow when he smells the
fresh pines like they just woke up, and bubbles
and ripples of water that bounce on the air.
he readies his rod with a worm on a hook
and walks the bank dropping the line into
slower dark pools with no luck until he
gets to the trestle and pulls himself up
big granite squares to walk through the tunnel
with the green moss and the bright other side.
he sidles an awkward path and its steep incline.
he gets to the tree that stumps into blackness
catching swirls of debris in submersible current
and he drops his hooked worm into that motion.
one two slick backed mudcat with spines in their
fins that sting like a bee, skin and not scales,
handled with care, wide mouths and mustaches.
tossed in with the tackle
and then he decides to drop one more line,
and the silvered skin of the angry
trout bursts from its hiding slapping the water.
shoots in a spray as he calms his nerves,
his excitement so shaking his hands as he
exerts great care reeling it in his first
caught rainbow, fingers under each gill,
a sandpaper feeling the small mouth
breathing in vain. he imagines showing
his dad, receiving the proud beaming smile.
but what if the fish is too small,
will he be mocked for not throwing it back?
but at last he decides, makes up his mind.
it will be a good lunch!