Butano Creek (with family and friends)

She runs with the boys,
        sure, swift, slight and blond.
While I challenged, teased
        and bragged about who
would be first off the cliff
        into the pool at the bottom
of the falls, she had already
        launched herself into space.
Our mouths open and
        our egos beyond repair,
we were left with false
        bravado and “we planned
it that way”. Roger and I
        followed my sister, with
the twins and my kid brother,
        coming after, hoping they
won’t jump on our heads.

At the cost of a few
        skinned knees, elbows
and torn fingernails,
        our sport consisted of
climbing the jagged,
        wet, side of the falls
in order to jump into
        the head of the falls
and have it knock us
        back into the pool
while trying to reach
        the bottom, which
did occur, time to time.
        She would bring up
a handful of silt as
        proof of reaching
the bottom of the pool.

The hike up to the falls
        included a walk on the edge
of the creek, sometimes
        wading, past woods, meadows
and occasional summer
        homes. The creek held
brown and speckled trout
        as well as steelhead. Roger
was a serious fisherman
        and we would look for
fishing spots on the way
        up to the falls. Displaying
a patience I didn’t know
        I had, Roger taught me
the stillness necessary
        to allow the fish to trust
our lures. Betrayed by
        mans’ hunger and ingenuity,
they became a delightful
        dinner.

Sometimes an adult
        would make a suggestion
/ request, sending us on
        a mission with bacon
and string. Our “job”
        was to catch as many
crawfish as we could..
        Of course there was the
occasional frog, lizzard or
        inchworm while waiting
for the bacon, tied and sitting
        on the bottom of the creek,
gathering a convention of
        crawdads, to be slowly and
gently elevated to within
        reach of our nets. Sis didn’t
appear to be bothered by
        the twins’ attempt to scare
her with members of
        our catch. Half a century
later, I’m still in awe of
        the creeks’ generosity.

Embi 4/4/14

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