Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2015  v14n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Raft

He baits the hook with an Indian paintbrush petal,
lets out the line, reels, traps it with his thumb pad.
October. Powder on the peaks. We float on a raft
lashed together with a loose weave of duct tape and rope.
I paddle us forward with a cottonwood branch,
my leg in the water for a rudder, trying to hold us close
to the darkness of the drop-off where the trout go
to stay cool in the afternoons. Later we’ll make a fire
and cook our catch with blueberries gathered frozen
from the cirque above the tarn. We’ll blow on the coals.
We’ll check for tenderness. We’ll add ash in place
of salt. But for now I’m watching the sunlight
bounce off the surface and shimmer in the shadow
under my brother’s hat. The way he plays the line.
The way he lets it troll behind us. The way the trout
cloud our wake and flick their rainbowed sides.
I’m torquing my leg underwater. I’m turning us back
toward the darkness we have drifted away from.  end  

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