The Cape Fear side winds
below like a snake,
its muddiness slugs
towards the Fish Traps.

Perched on granite summit
no man-hand has climbed,
I watch the fall line,
follow water with my eyes
to where boulders and foliage-
crowned islands
rend brown river white,
and fly fishers cast their lines
in a hoop out to the current.

Trees billow over;
the watercourse repels their effigy—
its screen of silt reveals no secrets.
I could plunge my beak all day
and never clamp a bite.

The Sun ignites the horizon,
an eagle owl’s eye
peeking over the Blue Ridge,
ready to blink the world into night.

Shadows dance the banks
as fins thunk within coolers
fishermen pack with their harvest.
With backs turned, they pay
no mind to their hatchling
while it breeches the coop—
pigtails sway in the breeze.

It strokes the stream, an admirer,
bends in closer and closer
to see itself—
the serpent swallows its image.

I take to the air with my catch.

 ♦This poem was published in the Summer 2007 issue of the Loch Raven Review.