March 1, 2016

Approaching Nowhere

 

By Brad Maxfield

From a train window
I see men fishing, still,
in a man-made pool.

Across the surface, leaves
of a brilliant maple float
as if a lake were stocked

with stars the men pay cash
to catch. The poles they use
are unusually long, and thin

as a trickle of green rain
from a neighbor’s blue roof.
A bent man has caught one

leaf which he lifts—he has no
reel—removing the hook, looking
nothing, if not a little

sorrowful, as he releases it
back to the fluid sky with no
doubt about its return, before

he casts again, knowing the one
he hopes to catch is yet
out there, the reflection

of a cloud imprinted with
his face—a slight ripple of cool
wind, the struggle to forget.

Brad Maxfield’s first book, For All We Know, was published by Backwaters Press in Omaha, NE. He has an MFA from the University of Oregon. After teaching in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Ecuador, Brad has settled in eastern Oregon where he lives, teaches, and writes.

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