An hour’s hike into the gorge
through mountain laurel and hemlock,
July’s heat steaming off each leaf blade
until I reach brooks no one bothered
to name, water tumbling like otters
through boulders the last glacier broke
before retreating into history.
Only small trout here, palm-sized
mountain jewels trying to survive,
and I’m crawling on my knees to meet them,
toss a fly I tied in winter into a riffle the sun
hasn’t reached since Thursday. What day
is today? My daughters are far off
in cities. My wife is home going online
for work. My parents are aging
in the usual way. Bees are laboring
among the knee-high goldenrod.
Sometimes I understand why
there are gods and why
we drag the dead with us
through our lives.
Let all this. Every moment
its own untouched forever.
Somewhere glaciers still moving
at their slow pace of elsewhere.
The beautiful and crumbling world
happening at once.