Dark gravel at five a.m. 
covered by a hatch
of sleet and snow.

Empty parking lot. 
Rhododendron leaning in, 
a rainbow trout on a hare’s ear nymph.  

Working downstream
Bridge to bridge. 
Strip, strip, nudge and cast. 

Trains lumber through -
freight, oil tankers, passenger cars -
serrated teethy cleaves and glinting sunlight of limestone and shale. 

A grove of mid-century rust belt ranchers,
white porches splayed with rock salt slush,
ease their end into the valley, the river. 

A ferruginous notch slices a path
in the eddies of the Appalachian plateau
like sycamore roots veined in snow.