Just letting this small thing happen
might be enough,
just letting this little town,
like a flickering star
folded into the St. Joe Valley,
keep on sleeping
in its own peculiar peace
wrenched hard in the failing light
of a Saturday afternoon
from the rest of the week.

              And this
before the trees begin to bud:
       the river high and cold,
       the trout elusive.

One man stands off to the side
apart from the others,
his lean face is flushed
from a couple of beers.
His boy’s beside him.  Nothing remains
of that bent night in day
that he crawled from on Friday,
aching and puffing dust.

                       Today he can stand
and watch the lines curve out on the water,
        step back,
        reach into the cooler there by the pickup,
        lay a hand on the kid’s thin shoulder.

He can crack that can open anytime,
        suck it in,
        and feel okay.

 

Hear it:

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