River Retreat
by Gail Denham

Fred could feel the silence.
Solitude crept into his soul. So far
he’d found their vacation trip
was anything but de-stressful.

Flick of the wrist. The line touches
the water. Snap the line back. Whish again.
The line lays down another quick
temptation for a “fishy” victim.

Crows screamed from a grove of trees. Fred
wished he could scare them off. Fly fishing
was meant to be a silent sport, he felt, with
only the soft rush of water over his new waders.

He whizzed the line back over the sweet,
clear water of the Gallatin. Quiet. He gave
thanks, for the 27th time, that he had
sneaked off before Agnes woke up.

Before she determined she really should
go with him. Not that she enjoyed fishing.
Far from it. She’d sit on the bank chattering.
Softly yes, but constant.

Letting him know the complete schedule
for the rest of their trip, only stopping to ask
his approval on a choice she’d already made.
Fred shook himself at the thought.

Once more he laid the line on the water. Fred almost
hoped no fish would leap for the bait—would cause
splashing noise, would disturb the precious peace
of this moment, in this, his fishing retreat.

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