On the confluence
Late September on the Upper Willamette River, the Middle and North stems
fork, big-leaf maple leaves sweep down into eddies
Cascade foothills, Doug Firs reach for low clouds.
Big trout on the confluence, but I flub casts, drag the drift
I drive them down, spooked, to the bottom of the pool
eager smolts somersault — hookset and airborne — hang a backcast.
A steel bridge spans the river behind me, above Hells Gate rapid
across the river to the dwindling RV park, oldsters in lawn chairs
small dogs and lonely weekends.
I’m on the other side, casting into the wind, chasing trout
I don’t eat, wet wading alone up to my waist in this river
tangled and soaked.
There are trout beyond my reach, edging away and I’m thinking
a comfy trailer with Katie, a sandwich, Viagra and some perspective
might not be so bad.