Driving around Saranac Lake in the shadow

of Whiteface Mountain a hard Spring rain

suddenly descends. I stop the car to watch

a lone figure standing in a rowboat in solitary

stillness, a scene framed in an ancient

Chinese scroll, a living Haiku poem.

In my mind’s eye he’s fishing with a bamboo pole,

hoping his catch will please his waiting young wife

who is stoking a fire to prepare the fish when he returns.

Focusing on the scene at hand I notice the fisherman

is impervious to the pelting downpour of rain.

He must be wearing the latest Orvis’ stay-dry duds.

Twitching the rod with a flick of the wrist he casts,

arcing the line back and forth over his head

with the artistry of a cowboy lassoing a run-away steer.

He aims for the edge of iridescent orange-yellow water lilies.

Without a splash, he tempts the trout with a fly attached

with a gossamer-thin tippet.

In a silver shower the fish strikes, shaking its head trying

to get off the hook. He tires it out as it surges and runs,

leaping, almost walking across the water on its tail.

Holding the fish for a moment, he gauges the length,

viewing the trout’s meaty flanks, outrageous spots of black

and orange and horizontal streaks of silver and red.

Rowing back to shore he’s pleased the fish was caught with

a new translucent lure with holographic foil that dazzles

the fish allowing him to release it so it can spawn again.