The Very First Dream of Morning

The sun puts in a slow stick
and touches everything green.
He hears the mosquito-whine
of a motor grow louder, then
a cluck and thump as it stops.
A shadow wavers over him.
He ignores the thin silver line
flung like a spider’s filament
from a shadowy center, again
and again. The shadow leaves,
the sun finishes its leap,
and still he hasn’t moved
from under the log whose edges
sway with moss. A turtle
pokes out its head, pulls it in.
The surface silvers, blackens.
A yellow worm of a moon
writhes on the water.
Except for his flowering gills,
he is motionless, waiting
until sun and moon darken
and the lake disappears in a mist—
when someone, unprepared,
will cry out as if in sleep,
hands fumbling for the reel,
knowing he has been struck
(as the pole bends, pulling him down,
and the boat nearly capsizes)
by what rises from under the surface
like the very first dream of morning.
—Robert Siegel