Trout

Trout

The river runs over
and under him slickly.
The bottom is green
and black and dull yellow.

You can hardly see him
for nature’s camouflage: trout,
magnificent trout, darkly
speckled, toffee brown.

He lies and swings
with the current. He
pumps like a bellow, slowly.
The water swirls
and purrs over him.

He edges upstream
till his belly rubs gravel,
then he drifts back
and swings turning
downstream, returning
and sinking to nose
among mottle green and white
stones; then

he floats upward,
pouts, takes the fly
from the puckered surface.

Look out, trout.


from Ladders of Rain (John McIndoe, 1978), © Brian Turner 1978, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives 2004.

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