"From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other."—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
They’re never far behind their tracks, like the fox (female,5.2 kgs, missing a dewclaw) that ran recently along this edge of the pond, as August’s end hung overwater,and the brown-eyed susans fluttered open in unison.
So many eyes. The hum of hives and bees that sip tears.
It’s been years, and yet beneath the pond’s surface the bluegills still mull, their dim fisheries disrupted here by a bobber’s flat smack, and there by the distant shouts of criminals running the gauntlet of the brook, their poles shouldered, their lines slung hopelessly in the low oaks for deducers to find. They tied flies here once (or tried: bored), and snared sunfish with balls of bread, only to slip them back into the water’s green envelope--not least for their trails of pearlish bubbles, or the rapid-disappearing ripples they tried to catch.
It‘s a pact they return for again and again, the gemmy frieze of the pond shattered, the concentric relief of stones thrown, the lift and disappointment of presence: They’re here. They’ve left nothing behind but scraps of bait, a kind of longing (for their street, for their shot wall) embodied that even now seems visible. Already this year’s bishop’s lace has blown, and brookward the old growth, its sleeping droop disturbed, shades their still-divided hearts, and all the evidence they could not keep.