The John Robert Doyle, Jr. Prize
Spring 2007
Jules Riley

Waist Deep in Winter Water

Strange the ways of memory,
The bits and pieces of life
That bring back the visions and feelings
Of lives and things past.
Each year, in the cold of January
We would go to the farm pond,
Father and son, to stand in chest waders
And search the skyline for Wood ducks,
Mallards or Mergansers, coming in to roost.

And though he passed three years ago,
I never feel closer to him now
Than when I'm standing
Waist deep in winter water,
Waiting for a flight of ducks,
Listening for their calls as they approach
From over the treeline,
It's as if he's just down the bank,
Standing in the tall reeds,
Still there in his favorite spot.
©2007 Jules Riley