Headlong for miles upstream and full
of stones, at last the water flattens
and backs up on the other bank,
under cut, a pool deeper, greener
than any so far. An hour to nightfall
I have time to work the run. An osprey
sits lopsided at the top of a snag
watching as I wade midway, threading
a mayfly onto a tippet so thin
I fumble it twice. The cutthroat begin
breaking the surface now and now again
until the pool is dimpled everywhere.
The hatch thickens the air like dust.
I play out the line, and loop it and make
one false cast before the osprey has seen
enough: impatient, indelicate, oblivious
to drift, he lifts off, hovers and flops
headfirst. He flaps up with the last fish
caught today in his balled claws.
Jon Kelly Yenser was born, raised, and educated in Kansas. He’s worked as a teacher, a journalist and a fund-raiser for several universities. Poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Diagram, The Massachusetts Review, Natural Bridge and Adobe Walls. He lives in Albuquerque with his wife