Friday, September 25, 2009

In the Deep Channel

In the Deep Channel

Setting a trotline after sundown
if we went far enough away in the night
sometimes up out of deep water
would come a secret-headed channel cat,

Eyes that were still eyes
in the rush of darkness,
flowing feelers noncommittal and black,
and hidden in the fins
those rasping bone daggers,
with one spiking upward on its back.

We would come at daylight
and find the line sag,
the fishbelly gleam
and the rush on the tether:
to feel the swerve
and the deep current
which tugged at the tree roots
below the river.

William Stafford

Posted over on Poetry Foundation

William Stafford, “In the Deep Channel” from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems.

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