Good Friday 2009

Fishermen know that the trick is to see

what’s not there, to pay attention in full

to the still air: the absence of warblers’ singing

in branches above the riffle;

the disappearance of stoneflies

that should be hovering above the river’s ennui:

They realize the insects must have died

and sunk below the surface, where fish are feeding.


They first learned this trick two thousand years ago

When they came to a cave looking for their friend,

expecting to find the stench and buzz of death.

When they found nothing,

they didn’t see at first, didn’t understand

what they had found:

life, waiting below the brittle surface

to leap and break into new air

aflame with grace, lifting the entire world

in an arc and covenant, a promise that springs

will feed rivers long after

we have learned how to see.

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