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Fall in Spring
(Blue Canyon)
During that time he was nearing
the far side of his own autumn,
with its grants of a certain number
of clear, still days, with a fugitive
richness of colors against the dusks
coming early across chilly ground.
And in that place, on that day, wondering
if there were trout back up in there,
he had caught a small one in the pool
above a crossing, and letting him go
stood for a moment, looking at the pebbles
in their diff erent colors, in the shallows there,
thinking -- not sadly, but as the outcome of a rough
calculation -- This may be the last time
I'll be up here, and do this. And so it was,
on that shady feeder stream, in that steep place.
He recalls how the road down to it had turned
to a little mountain stream, along a stretch
where the water had shifted its bed in a storm;
that he saw some Mountain Bluebirds in migration.
1983, 1991