Metrical Friday: ‘Fishing in Winter’

Fishing in Winter
By Ralph Burns

A man staring at a small lake sees
His father cast light line out over
The willows. He’s forgotten his
Father has been dead for two years
And the lake is where a blue fog
Rolls, and the sky could be, if it
Were black or blue or white,
The backdrop of all attention.

He wades out to join the father,
Following where the good strikes
Seem to lead. It’s cold. The shape
Breath takes on a cold day is like
Anything else—a rise on a small lake,
The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub—
A shape already inside a shape,
Two songs, two breaths on the water.

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