Jus' down the road a piece is ol' Will's place;
on t'other side a his propity's an ol' trail
takes y' down t' the river. Try it next time
y'r lookin' t' do some dandy trout fishin'.
I used t' drag my pole down there ev'ry spring;
nice 'n shady, too -- fish don't much like a lot a sunlight.
Y' can't see it from here; just foller the ribbon a sunlight
sneakin' out 'tween yonder trees; that's Will's place
all right; used t' get his water from a spring,
Will did, but she's dried up now. Anyways, that ol' trail
takes some fierce walkin', but the river ain't far and the fishin'
is 'bout as good as any I seen 'round here in my time.
Matter a fact, I c'n recollect the first time
I caught a big ol' brookie there; the sunlight
was jus' pokin' his face up and I was fly fishin'
a rocky flat in the stream, out back a Will's place.
Broke branches n' weeds 'd 'mos' buried the trail;
that was the year of all them stormy days in the spring.
Took some doin', it did; ol' Mr. trout, he judged he'd jus' spring
up t' eyeball my Blue Dun fly when I flicked 'er out the first time;
more 'quisitive, he was, th'n hungry, so I laid 'er out agin 'side a trail
of spangly water, where some yeller freckles a sunlight
glinted off a rock and, by Judas, he whomped it! Back a Will's place,
the river mebbe ain't the purtiest f'r lookin', but it sure is purty f'r fishin'.
I heer'd tell ol' Will hisself was not much inta fishin';
a course, y' can't ask him no more 'cause he died, spring
of '36, think it was. Ain't nobody else ever lived in Will's place
since then, so's it's damn well ram shackled these days; time
don't do no paintin' 'r fixin' up by itself 'n now the sunlight
peppers through cracks as bountiful as fall leaves on the trail.
Well, I'm gettin' along my own self now--legs stiffen up on the trail;
if I did make it t' the river, I'd prob'ly jus' sit, 'stead a fishin'--
'n mebbe do some thinkin' -- 'n watch the flickerin' a sunlight
on the silver skin a the stream. Could be 'long 'bout next spring
I'll do jus' that--but like as not, I won't. Tell y' the truth, time
works on me 'bout the same 's it works on ol' Will's place.
So if y' c'n tromp that ol' trail, soon 's it's come spring
agin, go wet y'r line; fishin's prob'bly still good 's the time
I use t' dip a fly there, in the sunlight of my days, out back a Will's place.
By Robert G. Shubinski