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.