Joe

The old fisherman drops off the dog but

seems on the river already. With

anxious feet, he’s off

to the truck, to the road, to the river!

I understand the haste, the

sense of shortened days, and

how few we spend in water.

He’s not quite conscious to

work out the bugs of bearing beliefs,

being lost in not knowing he’s found, he

was one who made an honest

life of varied loves and prominent work. But

most of love and work has channeled down

to a steady hand casting upward to a

foamy riffle, seeing into depths, waiting, ready

in the finer details of presentation to the

instinctive ones below. There will be no

late life reckoning with frivolities of

religion, no softening of sentiments

toward the deadening ways of men or women too

manicured to negotiate the mossy

boulders of the South Platte. The only sacred

procedures he will ever respect is that of

being clear with the words between

friends in keeping with the ways of fish. He

is done with smooth exteriors for

he knows well of creaturely finitudes. As I

pray him out the driveway in my

envy for the stream, wishing luck, I know

his lust for life on earth in that aged body of

animated dust will cast his gaze into some

swirling eddy shining with the

image we all bear. The clear words of his

wordless affections will be heard

in being found,

caught not knowing,

cherished and released

to the greater flow.

And he’ll be back

for the dog

in the cool of the day.

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