When my mother and my father died I saw again
Camp Debruce, a fish hatchery in the Catskills.
There my father and I stood by clear pools
like plates collected in my mother’s dry sink.
She set those plates for special occasions
with pillar and thumbprint tumblers to drink from.
We celebrated with special guests all at once close.
My mother set this table too, by insisting we come.

While we stood in woodsmoke and rain, my father
snipped off barbs, cast a line, offered me a pole.
I learned the tug that hooked trout. My hands shy
with living chain mail, my father loosed her.
A Japanese garden flowed blue just like the plates.
Waterfalls swelled the stream into a table of pools.
We stood beside them, and for once, enjoyed the feast.

Where water ran free, we fished for wild rainbows.
My father told me woods grew in different stages
until virgin was the oldest, most experienced.
After an hour of no strikes I fished for bright rocks.
My father pointed out a purple finch embedded
in a white pine like the rose quartz in loose shale
spring water too deep, just out of reach.

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