Writing Instructions

Writing Instructions
For John

How do you do, he whispers in her mind.
Take it a little further, he murmurs—
beyond this afternoon, the layers of cliff light—

gray root eyes stern in his pitch thick bush of hair.

Amid the squeaks, twitters and rattles,
the plunking sound of jumping fish,
drifting mumble of lunchers down the lake
and buzz of diving flies,
a fish strikes, bites the meat.

When I was a child I fished,
watched them glide just below the surface—

For a moment only the wind,
winding its way through the tops of the trees,
makes a sound.

Shake out a beginning, middle and end, he whispers.

The boy catches his first fish, grabs
the struggling creature into his world,
his too bright light.
Its tiny teeth sink into his hand;
catch his surprise in the inverted wilderness of water.

Fishing the lake means seeing it from all sides,
he adds, smiling around his teeth.

originally published in Byline Magazine