Amber Stream

He fished the Suwannee: slow-
flowing, tea-stained, wild, where the river
drops through limestone and revives itself.

Smooth-tongued, fast

He caught and threw the slick bass back:
swamp, salt marsh: tie the jig, float the lure.
Catch, admire, release.

First, he was the anchor, then
he was the current

The tackle box, a half-smoked cigar
another beveled bottle in the fridge –
He’d disguise his liquor in a glass of tea.

Liked his whiskey masked by something

I won’t miss the clink of ice,
the amber stream, the dark pull.

The unsteady measure of the man