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The Fish are Rising

by Cindy Buchanan


   Lake Stuart, Washington


Evening light turned pine trees gold

and the surface of the lake

shivered with a million tiny ripples.

A glacial breeze flowed across the water,

carrying the scent of resin and woodsmoke.

We could hear wet, intermittent plops—

the sound of fish darting up to catch

a fly or mosquito or gnat.

"The fish are rising," someone said.

And I had a sudden vision of countless fish

awakened from a deep slumber,

stirring, rising, moving as one,

their smooth, scaled bodies

thrusting and darting,

mouths opening and closing,

fins and tails straining to propel them

up and up:

a mass of life rising to leap

one by one into the evening sky

where, freed from their watery daybed,

their translucent eyes and silver scales

became the stars overhead.