Crayfish Hunting

Some small, tucked thing darts

from under a turned stone

before the water can clear

the mud cloud I created

by disturbing that wet dust.

I am too big, hunched over

like an unbalanced heron,

my eyes unfocused to spot

movement, nothing defined

by edges: a contrary streak,

quicker than the current.

How unnatural I must seem,

in rubber boots and a wool coat,

to the wading birds, patiently

waiting for their turn in this stream.

Still, I must have some role

in the autumn afternoon,

my arms wet to the elbows,

reaching into this cold water

that has given birth to everything.