A Different Walden
by Michele Waering

for Johnnie

Tied flies lay neat in plastic boxes
set beside sleek reels,
fiber-glass rods wrapped up,
eyelets empty—

So my brother waited for
fishing days with our father

and passed the time poaching rainbow trout
from the Waumbek Hotel pond—
our mother gutted and fried them—
his prize catch.

Other days he climbed up
along the stony center
of an ice-melt brook
towards sunlit clearings
on slopes before the forest thickened,

rested there and fished that brook
as he had the hotel pond
with nothing more than
a bamboo pole,
green twine, a hook
and a can of night-crawlers.

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