Skaters

Photo by Igor Dabari

Disturbing oaks’ reflections,
the water striders swirl, spin, still
in the river’s quiet curl.
Fish food for trout,
they gather in teardrop
groups, tighten
then scatter frenzied
when I wade in.
The early summer sun penetrates
the surface, revealing
trapezoidal rocks that seem to lie
behind an amber stained-glass window.

The little river’s low—drought
this year, and last, and maybe
next year, too, the forecast
uncertain till the time arrives:
the great blue heron poised
above the slow pool before
he plunges for his pointed thrust.

Making soundless loops,
the skaters dimple artless water:
they’re on top and cannot see
the quick shadow
that glides beneath
the river’s lucent skin,
the gulf that lies
below.

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