Above Lyman’s riffle

Above Lyman’s riffle
At the old man’s house,
Falling down a little more a year
After his death, in the
Hot August now cooling dusk
I waited for the red glow
Down river &
Swallows… swallows in the evening light!
I can see to my right the
100 year old black walnut
& cherry orchard
Across the road, up the hill Ernie’s hard rock mine
& Sardine Creek trickling
In through the willows upstream
That held specimen nuggets as big as your thumb!
I’m watching the old chimney’s brick
That juts upward from the tin roof
Below Lyman mountain,
The old man wasn’t born in this house
They built it when he was two, he was born
Across the road near where
I tore the apple packing shed down two years before,
Full of 19th Century artifacts, a “Coolerator
Icebox, with  only three  bullet holes &
Behind the siding on the inside wall
Written in pencil, was a scribe from 80 years ago,
“Amen, Brother Ben,
Shot at a Rooster and hit a hen!”
From a ladder I sided my cabin
With those old Douglas fir lap boards,
While my own children squealed
& ran across my side hill
& now the wary Table Rock Black-tail deer
Are waiting on after dusk for a drink of river,
& now swallows begin to draw close
& for one minute come together
In ever tightening circles & swirl together
Then as one & into whirling black-funnel-down-cloud
Fifty feet in height above the house
& they are into-the-chimney
In one second &
Full of this days hatch
Settling for brick gripped sleep
This is what I waited for..
All pretty much at once it happens
On these August evenings
& the thirsty bucks stop their pant
& began to move & will slake their thirst
& I have taken a 10 pound steelhead from the riffle
On wet fly, a Teeter’s weighted-woolly-worm,
Ernie, gone about a year–had told me it was an evening riffle
Returning to my cabin  I fed my family steelhead fillets
& read the Gospel of John
One more time..

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