Christine Anne Pratt

Entering Winter

The silver salmon have swum away
from the solitude of deep ocean,
and brooked gravity and rapids
with a muscled grace,
a new generation deposited
in their parents’ natal pools
before the aching swim back.

They hover now,
(those not riven by bear or eagle,
those not dying of old age),
in the lee of islands, or at the head
of tides and tributaries where water
is not bulked out by ice and freshets
flow to weather this slow, cold season.

I woke up to a fog-draped world
dull as pewter, blank sky staring out
like a composition rubbed raw
with the eraser, streaks of graphite
blurring the colorless sheets of winter
and only the black-webbed trees
showing me possibilities.

I will linger here, salmon-like,
suspended between two worlds—
salt and fresh water, stillness, breathing.