Temagami Laker


Hard to tell where
Copper-tone rock- face ends
And lake surface begins.
Mirror image.
Late afternoon sun
Bathing all in rust.
Trolling this
Finger-arm of the lake
These twenty-five minutes.
The boy is intent.
Line out a good
Seventy feet,
And thirty feet beneath.
Trusty Rapala
Doing its lazy wiggle.
Noticed a gull
Plopping to surface.
Feasting on small-fry.
Same gull,
Moments ago,
Other end of the slip.
Something beneath,
Frightening up a school
Of little ones.
Perhaps a pattern?
Will the hunter
Again harvest
The far end?
“Doug, let’s quietly
Pull in line,
And scoot down
Hundred and fifty yards.
See if He comes back.”
Springbok delicately
Traverses the fluid face.
Fresh wind pleasant
On eyes and cheeks.
“This should be right.
Don’t cast. Drop
And play out some
Hundred and twenty feet.”
Trolling motor
Reduced to childish chug.
Overhead, blue heron
Bats out his strange
Anti-flight.
Waiting.
Croaking sounds from tree-line
Suggest heron's nest.
Fish-line quivers where
Wave ringlets mar
Sun-trail of gold.
“Still, Doug. Wait.
Don’t spook him.
You’ll know when
The real tug hits.”
We watch that line.
Almost hypnotic.
Occasional wave
Drums on hull.
Rod tip jerks
To something lordly!
“He’s yours Son.
No slack.
Now enjoy the play.
We called his game!”

Note: This was a memorable afternoon’s prize from Lake Temagami shared with my Dad (Jack Blair) years ago. We have just moved my parents into a retirement home where mobility has become a daily issue. They are together still after 63 years of marriage. In years in the past the vitality of the northland and its beauty were particular pleasures to them.

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