Mike Schmidt’s 500th Home Run

Further up the mountain,

Almost three miles above the

Trail head parking and well off

The slashed trail is an almost forgotten

tiny spring fed lake.

It’s easy to wade along the sandspits

Between the two feeder streams and

Upstream from the WPA overflow wall.

Too close to the wall, or too far to the left or right

is quicksand that will suck your boots to China.

In summer the water takes your breath.

In spring, feet are bricks inside waders.

Nothing is stocked up here

And the water is persnickety enough that

Most fisherman ignore it especially

In the early season put and take fury

On the main stem.

But here thrive the slashing, thrashing

Electric pastel native brook trout.

All tiny terrors that can be

Quick hooked and released

Without damage.

On a good day they are suckers for

A maggot on a number 10 hook

Floating two feet below a bobber.

Thirty minutes up here is worth

A day anywhere else.

Hideous Statuettes

The Robin’s call learned as a child:

            Cheer-up, Cheer-up, Cheer-up

Sounds so right; so sweet heralding the mud and shoots of spring
Today sounds nervous and confused as it falls bleakly over the frozen river.
They flit and perch in the trees jabbering in concerned confusion as the ice works inexorably from both banks-soon to overtake the small sliver of green in the middle.

           Cheer-up, Cheer-up, Cheer-up

Bright red breasts ornament the bare branches
Weeks after the decorations have been put away
None will brave the snow on the ground.
Hopefully they are not waiting-they can’t wait it out can they?
It’s 14 degrees up from 11 heading to five
Hopefully they are moving on-but to where and from where?

         Cheer-up, Cheer-up, Cheer-up

Perhaps tomorrow they’ll all be dead
Ragged and black like spent shell casings
Or singed shelter halves
Frozen and tossed in the snow.

        Cheer-up, Cheer-up, Cheer-up

Yesterday morning in the gray dawn
A dove tried to fly from a line in the yard.
As it rose a Cooper’s Hawk-from nowhere
Blasted it in a puff of dark feathers.

Later the snow fell,
Covering the scattered feathers and tiny crimson splat that fell to earth