Just like that
our town changes,
the glint of blue
Chevy metal
parked on the road,
boats tucked beneath
the big eucalyptus,
drifting close in
to the dead trunks
where the cormorants roost.
The flocks of grebes
dwindle to a handful
by mid-week.

Winter to spring,
just like that.
Walking the path
in the bright sun,
I yearn to use
the word verdant,
as hungrily as the fishermen
parked outside the gates
all through last night,
when it was still winter,
waiting for today,
when the season would open.
How many fish can
a fisherman need?
60,000 bass the papers say
60,000 I think,
interspersed with my
contemplation of verdant.

Ah, I think of how I wish
for the luxury of the word verdant,
the indulgence of Ah,
at the beginning of a line.

Ah, 60,000 bass,
how many fish
can a fisherman need.

This was the spring
I decided to let
all of them go,
all the ones who couldn’t
give me something in return,
all that language
wouldn’t allow me to have.

drifting easily
in season,
on time.
Is it catch and throw back
they call it?
I can’t recall.
For me it was
just letting go
of empty nets, lines
I have held on to.