Above Lyman’s riffle

At the old man’s house,
Falling down a little more  than ten years
After his death, but before that on a
Hot August cooling dusk evening
I waited for the red glow
Down river &
Swallows… swallows in the evening light!
I can see to my right the
100 year old black walnut
& cherry orchard
Across the road, & up the hill was Ernie’s hard rock mine
& Sardine Creek trickling
In through the willows upstream
That held specimen nuggets as big as your thumb!
This evening I’m watching the old chimney’s brick
That juts upward from the tin roof
Below Lyman mountain,
The old man wasn’t born in this house
They built it when he was two, he was born
Across the road near where
I tore the apple packing shed down two years before,
Full of 19th Century artifacts, a “Coolerator”
Icebox, with only three bullet holes &
Behind the siding on the inside wall
Written in pencil, was a scribe from 80 years ago,
“Amen, Brother Ben,
Shot at a Rooster and hit a hen!”
From a ladder I sided my cabin
With those old Douglas fir lap boards,
While my own children squealed
& ran across my side hill
& now the wary Table Rock Black-tail deer
Are waiting on after dusk for a drink of river,
& now swallows begin to draw close
& for one minute come together
In ever tightening circles & swirl together
Then as one & into whirling black-funnel-down-cloud
Fifty feet in height above the house
& they are into-the-chimney
In one second &
Full of this days hatch
Settling for brick gripped sleep &
This is what I waited for &
All pretty much at once it happened
On  August evenings
as the thirsty bucks stopped their pant
& began to move & will slake their thirst
I had just taken a 10 pound steelhead from the riffle
On wet fly, a “Teeter’s weighted-woolly-worm,”
Ernie, gone about a year—had told me it was an evening riffle

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