Just Fishing
Rita Quillen

The fact it’s a cliché
Doesn’t interfere with its beauty or truth:
The three men are a ballet
In front of a green curtain.
One leans into the cast
Line arcing just under the canopy
While another crouches to collect
The slice of silver quivering in his net.
The third, the oldest, moves slow
Deliberate and stylized like a Kabuki dancer,
Pausing on each stone
Testing its resting place:
Testament to why he’s lived so long.
Water music and wind rush
Bird songs and wing rhythms
Ring and echo off sheer rock ledge-
A symphony worthy of this place.
But the best part is the absence of words.
It is creek grace.
There will be plenty of time for silence
When the long sleep comes
But we’ll be ignorant of it.
Here and now we can stick our hand
In the swift cold current
Our tongue to the cup
Our ear to the wind
Crawl inside our head and shut the door.
Isn’t it strange how we cast for words
Our whole lives
Do the slow dance
Before the white curtain of paper,
Catch them in our net
Then feel the joy and peace of release,
Knowing full well the only honest prayer
That anyone can pray
Is the one without words.
The fact that it’s cliché
Doesn’t interfere with its beauty or truth.

Return to Fall 2015 Table of Contents