With the Current
We’re at the Squannacook again. The trout
are stirring as my father leans against
a willow, watches dimpled rings emerge
where open mouths poke through the surface, pluck
drowning damselflies. We’ve come to choose,
perhaps simply imagine the perfect spot
to spread his ashes when he’s gone. This place
right here, he says. Yes, this place where he taught
me to cast upstream and let the river
present the fly the natural, dead-drift way.
Stay with the flow. The current feeds the trout
what arrives. A rainbow leaps. Another.
My father takes a step toward the water,
bends to dip a finger, slowly rises.
We’re not here to fish today. We left
the car in idle, steady hum reminding
us to go and do what might need doing
this bright May morning, now approaching noon.
by Richard Jordan
Editor’s Note: The subtlety of blank verse serves this poem’s beautiful imagery well, allowing the emotional backbone of the narrative to emerge slowly but surely.