Two Poems - by Gary Metras
Fly Fishing The Deerfield River In Early March
Snow melt has made the banks
of the river soft.
I half slide down to the water,
snow become mud,
become the cold home of the trout
I seek. The gravel
and rocks of riverbed feel more certain
every now and then, I wobble
in the strong current,
balancing a poignant desire
for spring fishing,
for relief from solid walls surrounding
the heart and soul,
like the flies I’ve tied, on extra
sharp hooks. Perhaps
the Early Dark Stoneflies will hatch.
I have them in my fly box,
waiting a month or more for this day,
the way all of us
anticipate the earth’s tilting toward
spring and release.
Richard Bunse Illustration
It doesn’t see me walking the path
on the other side of the river.
I watch it stepping, sure-footed,
up and down the rocks of the river bank,
its dark fur glistening under a dull sky,
its long body undulating over hard stone.
I whistle. It stops. I stop. Its small head
with smaller eyes turns to stare at me.
I’m sure my wrap-around sunglasses
make no sense in its memory bank—
a wide, dark stripe across a pale face
half-hidden by a faded red hood.
I must seem, if anything, an exotic
and wingless bird. I chirp.
It turns away and quickly continues
its own journey along the river.
I will tell others I meet today about
whistling to a mink and wonder
if I will become a story in its world.
Gary Metras' work has appeared in Gray’s Sporting Journal, Poetry, Wild Earth, and Yankee Magazine. He has two books of fly fishing poetry: Two Bloods and River Voice II, and is the past president of the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts chapter of Trout Unlimited.