Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Fishing in Winter

A man staring at a small lake sees
His father cast light line out over
The willows.  He's forgotten his 
Father has been dead for two years
And the lake is where a blue fog
Rolls, and the sky could be, if it
Were black or blue or white,
The backdrop of all attention.

He wades out to join the father,
Following where the good strikes
Seem to lead.  It's cold.  The shape
Breath takes on a cold day is like
Anything else — a rise on a small lake,
The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub — 
A shape already inside a shape,
Two songs, two breaths on the water.

Credit


From Us, by Ralph Burns, published by Cleveland State University Press. Copyright © 1983. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Author


Ralph Burns

Ralph Burns was born in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1949.

Date Published: 1983-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fishing-winter