On the waterfall trail the moss
wigs with damp an intelligence
greater than ours. Painted
trillium spikes the roving eye
with rippled, blood-streaked petals.
We pause by the deepest pool
and watch the falls fall into it.
Trout? you speculate. No more
hooking fish by the lip. I broke
my fly rod years ago. Let the big
specimens die of old age,
as I plan to do when the light
thickens and the waterfalls freeze
and pharmaceuticals no longer
excite my favorite organs.
We enjoy the contrast of rock-
broken and still water, the swirl
of leaf decay icing the pool
like the world’s first birthday cake.
Nature’s always rebirthing itself
in a shrug of clichés. Brightly
ethered, it wings about us on fire
with floral imperatives. Leaning
on each other in the mist of flies,
we let the mood distinguish us
from the other forms of life.
Among them, only falling water
and maybe the painted trillium
seem mobile enough to track us
to our secret mutual lair.
William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His new poetry collection is A Black River, A Dark Fall.