Moorman’s River, North Branch, 1996
The old trout said,
“Now, playful March sunshine silvers along the
great blasted avenues of turned dirt.
Sun skitters and dives down the ridge-tops,
skipping along the raked rows of tumbled stones, most still angular
from forevers bedded by bedrock.
The stones are surprised and pale, deep-sea stones
who thought they had longer to sleep, now steeped in
low-angled March sunshine. It wasn’t always so.”
The old trout wavered, his orange belly bluing against gravel.
“Now, dawnshine slashes slopes, through the avenues
where forests had stopped sun since Jesus,
now sledding among boles of survivor oaks
and down the long denuded treeless trenches.
The sun racks up rows of rootless pines and spins skeins of new shadow
from the tangled stacks. Sunshine
hacks and bores into the new hollows and divots
on the blasted flood-chewed slopes,” he said.
“Sunshine smears and spatters the riverbed, now
turbulent with frozen stones and trees scarred and blunted,
stones with water-lines all wrong, some chipped and split
by their sudden battering abandonment. Sunlight spends itself
on the biggest rounded boulders and fresh bedrock.
Shadows violate the pools and riffles,
probing plunges and bluing the deeper runs.” Then he was gone.
A few old trout tell the story of how the sun came, but
only the trees and stones believe it.
The little trout don’t listen.
They have so many empty pools to see.
For information on the Green County 500-year floods, see
and High Pool