The River


by Don Foran


 

I never know what’s swimming toward me fast,

The questions students do or do not ask.

I flick my wrist: the fly rests where I’ve cast.


I make mistakes, I know. I’ve sometimes passed

Too quickly through a complex text or task;

I never know what’s swimming toward me fast.


I’ve slipped on hidden shoals more slick than wax,

Or pulled the line before the hook was fast.

I flick my wrist, not knowing where to cast.


A shimmer in the swirling deep, some flash

Illuminates that dark, uncorks life’s cask.

I never know what’s swimming toward me fast.


And metaphorical mayflies sometimes hatch,

New theories surfacing, new worlds unmasked;

I flick my wrist, not knowing where to cast.


I’ve made mistakes I know; I’ve sometimes passed

An opportunity to revel or relax.

I never know what’s swimming toward me fast;

I flick my wrist: the fly rests where I’ve cast.


“The River” was first published in Crosscurrents, the journal of the Washington Community College Humanities Association (WCCHA). October 20, 2007, page 66. Republished here with their kind permission.