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.
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.