I hitchhiked to the reservoir at fourteen,
my backpack stuffed with stale
hotdog rolls and moldy bread slices
mom had tossed in the trash.
Cool and quiet, the dark water
was so reflective and filled
with clouds it seemed heaven
had fallen. So peaceful, a soul
might bathe here before ascending.
Telltale concentric circles
revealed seething life beneath
the chimerical overcast. Tossing
pieces of old rolls and Wonder Bread,
the water bubbled, then boiled
with hungry bluegills.
Fish eagerly devouring their manna,
I leaned down, my distorted image
momentarily caught in the froth.
Hands held inches apart like cymbals
ready to sound, I suddenly plunged
down and clasped them together.
With swift reach I lifted the scratchy,
slightly slimy wriggling creature
and held it high overhead in triumph,
clutching life’s very essence.
A grown man never forgets
such electric magic, forever seeking
those moments exploding with sheer
joy and wild abandon, when he grasps
all the vitality ever necessary.