In January the fisherman hammered
loose nails on his wooden shanty, then
dragged it onto Lake Butte de Morts,
a glacier-carved, frozen finger of the Fox.
Bundled in wool muffler and fur-lined
parka he began his day’s work,
and sometimes, I was his helper.
With blonde braids wound tightly under
knitted mounds of bright green yarn,
I shared the foggy breath of the patient
ice dweller. He scraped and drilled,
lines were dropped, and thermoses
of brewed coffee and steamy cocoa
warmed our tired gloved hands.
Snuggled under red plaid blankets,
we sat on orange crates in the dim
shanty for hours, waiting to snag
a slithery creature from beneath
our rubber-soled feet. His husky voice
praised the talents of our baseball heroes,
Hank Aaron and Warren Spahn,
and I longed for a County Stadium,
mustard-soaked hot dog and the glare
off the third base dugout.


Calyx, 2011