It’s full summer now,
Too late.
Two months ago
A pair of Orioles were tending their hanging nest
In a drooping branch of the old shag hickory
Not ten feet from the corner of the deck.

The industrious feeders bringing morsels to the three
Gaping beaks, snug in their bag.
Are gone now. 
Their hardscrabble life
Was entertainment for weeks.
But it’s ended now. 

The Orioles are still around
As visitors.
Flashes of orange crossing 
The river from side to side
Stopping occasionally to tweet.
But gone

My tired eyes follow an orange streak
Down above the shallows 
Where my old man, hunched in his jon boat,
Cigarette clenched firmly between his gums, 
Would take smallmouth on a spinner. 
In his time he killed more 
Bass than anyone along this stretch.

That time has ended.
Now his ashes settle in the same  shallows,
With the darters and minnows
Mingling with algae among the gravel,
Hopefully food for stoneflies...