The path back to the road is barely discernible in the shadows of the evening.
No moon yet, I point my rod behind me to not snap it on some tree.
The car is dark. Bulla is still on the stream.
I slide my rod onto the windshield and strip the soggy waders from my body.
An owl suddens by, a glide of shadow.
It has been two hours and four small trout since I saw him on the stream:
A silhouette still in the late day light, but for his arm rising and falling.
A half an hour more, the trees, dark shadows against the moonless sky,
I see the first glimpse of headlamp on the water.
I can tell by its movement that he is still casting.
Fifteen minutes more and he emerges from the trees cold and grinning,
His talk of caddis flies and a rainbow brought to net in fading light.
He raises his flask to the magic of the day and passes it to me
With apologies for being late, as if I ever expected him
To come off a river in the sunlight.
Another hit of scotch brings on the stories of the day,
The evening cold settling in.
Two friends, huddled by the heater of a warming engine,
Laughing now at some foolish bargain that we made with fish or river in the day.
The moon, just past full, now lifts above the dark horizon
Lighting this road that will lead us both to home.