This year I find the river slowed,
The trout gone missing, insects too,
The yellow lily, broken-stemmed,
No wild rose or river otter, no
Migrant warblers passing through.
Impermanence, I tell myself,
Though given how I love to fish,
Upset again that nothing lasts,
But bit by bit I settle in for, after
All, I can still cast.
Waist-deep, cold water, rod in hand,
Fly landing gently, mending, drifting,
Expecting nothing, needing nothing,
Rod raised to begin again, line lifting,
Graceful, fine as breath,
Casting off the work of darkness
No sudden tug to break to flow,
Opens me to all there is, ripple,
Pine scent, soft breeze, shadow,
The precious gift of letting go.