20 January 2013

the appeal in ice fishing {a poem}

The man is alone on the ice,
an inconsequential spot
to those in climate-controlled cars speeding their way on I-70 between Denver and the ski resorts.

We've got to hurry, they all think,
so we can get up on that mountain,
get out into nature,
ski goggles in place,
helmet on,
parka zipped.

We've got to hurry to make the most of the day.

But the man sits alone on the ice on an old milk crate,
his fishing line dangling into the hole
he cut several hours earlier.

The appeal in ice fishing must be in its recognition
that we are all inconsequential spots,
mere shadows in nature's grandeur and light.

His gray stocking cap is pulled low,
and a plaid Thermos of coffee is in easy reach.
Slow, steady breaths and the occasional scrape of his boot on the ice—
these are the only sounds
as he waits for the Next Big Thing that
may be right under his feet.

To make the most of the day,
the ice fisherman knows,
usually requires
slowing down and
trusting: you can't always see the good that's right around you.

But hush. And wait.
It may come right to you.

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