The Sign of the Muskellunge

And then the word of the LORD came to me
in the sixth month of my tenth year in that place
saying, “Go down to the river and to that stretch
of water where you have seen the great muskie
stirring clouds of silt with his fins in the shallows.”
And though I was surprised to hear from the LORD,
I did as he commanded, and I went through
the pipe gate and the place of stinging nettle;
I walked down the road that ends in water,
and I found a johnboat hidden in a canebrake there.
And I took the boat, which was not mine, and the oars
lying under it, and I journeyed to the shallows
in accordance with the word of the LORD, and behold,
I saw the fish snared in a bankline which I knew belonged
to my neighbor Otha Durrett. Thus said the LORD to me,
“Remove the hook held fast in the fish’s jaw,”
and I waded to my knees in the swirling liquid,
but the teeth of the fish bit at me so that I bled.
And the LORD dipped his mighty hand in the grain bin
of light and scattered the glowing seeds the across the gravel.
And the LORD said “Behold, days are coming
when these hills shall no longer be called O´zarks.”
And he made the scales of the fish as it swam away
to glitter. He made the heron wading there on stilts
push off from its reflection, and seeing this, I rejoiced
as if the current in its groove might never cease to flow.




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