My son loves to outfit his aging
flat-lander father with chest-high
waders, rainbows of handmade flies,
super-light fly rod, creel on hip,
then hike to the highest trout lake.
The arduous trail is strewn
with big rocks, fallen trees
and roots that bulge like big
biceps out of the earth. I stumble,
pick myself up. My chest heaves
in air thin as trout-skin. Winded,
I rest on a boulder with round
places for my elbows. “Are we
almost there?” I call between deep
draughts of light air. “Just another
hundred yards or so, hang in there.”
Now, at water’s edge, the boy rigs
my rod. With strong hands he steadies
me as we wade in cool spring-fed
waters. The sun shines high; the lake
sparkles rippling in the gentle breeze.
Out of this hard hike, this weary body,
this empty creel, comes one magical
moment, clean and clear, a moment
always known--now said, “I love you, Dad.”
© by Michael Escoubas.
Used with the author's permission.