For Dan Michener
The man goes down to the river with his dog.
He fishes. The dog runs arabesques.
The man is the prince of the river.
It is not a famous river but it is his river.
The trout writes verses in the water.
The man hurls stanzas in the air.
Nothing is said.
The dog runs arabesques.
The trout leaps.
It forsakes the power of its verse for the craft of the man.
For an instant the man is the king of the fish.
The force of the trout is his.
The man has won.
And then he slips the fish into the stream.
The trout has won.
All quarrels and wars should end so well.
The man and his dog go down to the river.