Lake Trout

A substantial shadow in the shade of the shore,
a cool place
between stones
that give back the alpine sun’s shining,
its dappled back
like the lights that appear in the shoregrass at night,
going nowhere
and showing nothing.

Waiting. Watching. Wondering
if those eyes admit memories,
if my face is clear
beyond the lake’s spirituel lens,
my intention to cast a line.

My father brought me here, many times,
a legend passed on to him about a hidden tarn,
tucked beneath the cups of two peaks’ cirques,
a deep pool
shrouded by dense stands of spruce and juniper;

where an antediluvian intelligence ruled waters
as rarified as regal spirits,
striving only for survival,
while accumulating
what wisdom or ways
will the realm toward
an equilibrium in death’s dissolute diet.

A tailfin, larger than my hand, fans sand and silt,
mica and decay,
moving out
to light, taunting,
laughing at me,
lolling in a languid drift from the flutter of its fins’
feathered fingers,
a dismissive wave.