Fishing in Winter

Ralph Burns

 
A man staring at a small lake sees
His father cast light line out over
The willows.  He's forgotten his
Father has been dead for two years
And the lake is where a blue fog
Rolls, and the sky could be, if it
Were black or blue or white,
The backdrop of all attention.
He wades out to join the father,
Following where the good strikes
Seem to lead.  It's cold.  The shape
Breath takes on a cold day is like
Anything else--a rise on a small lake,
The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub--
A shape already inside a shape,
Two songs, two breaths on the water.
 
From Us, by Ralph Burns, published by Cleveland State University Press. Copyright © 1983. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Poems by This Author

And Leave Show Business? by Ralph Burns
This elephant keeper shoved a hose up
A Boat Is a Lever by Ralph Burns
After my student went to the doctor to
Barbed Wire by Ralph Burns
Two or more strands twisted together
Ghost Notes [excerpt] by Ralph Burns
Plumbline of disaster, shadow storage
In the Bathroom Mirror by Ralph Burns
He continues to ponder
Stella by Ralph Burns
Flap, flap went the mind of the bird


Further Reading

Related Poems
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Fisherman
by W. B. Yeats
Poems About Sons
A Boy and His Dad
by Edgar Guest
Another Country
by Ryan Teitman
Come Up From the Fields Father
by Walt Whitman
Epigrams: On my First Son
by Ben Jonson
Goodnight Moon
by James Arthur
Like Him
by Aaron Smith
Odysseus to Telemachus
by Joseph Brodsky
On My First Son
by Ben Jonson
The Bee
by James Dickey
With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach
by William Stafford
Yesterday
by W. S. Merwin
Poems About Winter
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [Blow, blow, thou winter wind]
by William Shakespeare
Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 2 [Winter]
by William Shakespeare
Snow-Bound [The sun that brief December day]
by John Greenleaf Whittier
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
A Winter Without Snow
by J. D. McClatchy
An Old Man's Winter Night
by Robert Frost
Approach of Winter
by William Carlos Williams
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Horoscope
by Maureen N. McLane
How like a winter hath my absence been (Sonnet 97)
by William Shakespeare
In drear nighted December
by John Keats
January
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion
On Snow
by James Parton
Picture-books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Places [III. Winter Sun]
by Sara Teasdale
Return to Winter
by Elaine Terranova
Spellbound
by Emily Brontė
spring love noise and all [excerpt]
by David Antin
The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy
The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters
The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens
The Snow Storm
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Visionary
by Emily Brontė
There's a certain Slant of light (258)
by Emily Dickinson
To a Locomotive in Winter
by Walt Whitman
Toward the Winter Solstice
by Timothy Steele
Triad
by Adelaide Crapsey
Untitled [Toward night]
by Kevin Goodan
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Winter
by Walter De La Mare
Winter Heavens
by George Meredith
Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)
by Emily Dickinson
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith
Winter Sleep
by Edith Matilda Thomas
Winter Study
by Mark Wunderlich
Winter Trees
by William Carlos Williams
Winter Twilight
by Anne Porter
Winter-Time
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Winter: My Secret.
by Christina Rossetti