There is so much to notice,
starting with the shape of the land in this place
beneath the big tree roots that’s roly-poly,
not something you’d notice if you’re my size
but definitely as an ant or a snake.
Next we come to the lake where the fishers fish
where someone brought a little yapping dog
and a kid hardly big enough to walk
and the dog is bossing the kid around
and looks like a French teacher I once had,
all shoulders no neck.
They have a radio going,
and as I stand in the morning with the trees it takes hold,
some song from the 70s with a lot of sax,
it spills across the water the way the sun at dusk might
(or like maple syrup hitting your table linens,
depending on how you feel about saxophones).
One angler is saying to the other,
most people don’t know how to cast—
and he says it like he’s an expert, just before casting himself.
I leave the four of them (the two anglers, the kid and the dog)
wondering, do I know how to cast?
Or are my lines all crossed or worse,
abandoned in trees,
the spinners, lures and spoons
untouched forever, unnoticed:
bait that wouldn’t fool a fish.