Pass By, Dear Fisherwomen

IV xxx

Pass by, dear fisherwomen: that's a pool
nursed by a careless gardener, whose rule
is throw it in and let it thrive.' His koi
are few, but named: a mitigated joy--
they come to hand, or whistle. Do not set
small hooks with bread or troll your nylon net.
There's one, two years ago, cast her barbed bait
for pied shibunkins. Now, transfixed, she waits
poised on the old bridge, whistling, in her hand
cured bits of shrimp. The sacred koi, the fanned
tri-colored comets rise. Stand nearby, gaze
or rest, forgetting roads and shortened days
or bless with reckless promises that school
of tranquil fish, cruishing his obscure pool.


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