While Visions of Sugar Plums Danced. . .

While Visions of Sugar Plums Danced. . .

Friday, August 7, 2009

Salmon Poem -- What She Takes From the River

What She Takes from the River

I fry onions, add asparagus, a few
green tips mingling with a touch of pink
flesh left from last night’s dinner. Chinook

spawn downstream, a female and two males—
the same three this past week.
Because this is new to me I retreat

to the river daily, watch the males muscling,
sinuous, next moment
motionless and aligned with the current.

The female fans a redd. Tentative
I shift, watch her drift out,
dart back to nose in under a branch

above the antler I discovered
yesterday, when we spooked each other,
my dark form looming predatory,

her body arrowing over black rock
into deeper water. Now exposed,
I fish for the horn with a twig,

claim it for my own until broken tips
and blood-tinged grooves
come into view. Shimmy it upright,

let it rest. That night I awaken,
the moon a new-cut onion, and myself,
open and raw.

--Ronda Broatch

First appeared in Windfall, Spr. 1007

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