from wild strawberries*

an old man sits on a dock on a
north woods lake just looking at

a woman and a young boy at the
end of the dock. the boy leans

over to look at a school of minnows
and falls in intentionally. the woman

is startled and then the woman
and the boy laugh as the boy

splashes water at the woman. the
minnows are long gone. the old man

looks out onto the lake and sees
a man and a young boy sitting in

a rowboat. the man is casting for
game fish and catching nothing.

the boy with his bamboo pole
and worms is catching bluegills

galore. the boy struggles to lift
his string of bluegills out of the

water. the man smiles and the boy
laughs and the old man watching

laughs at the boy’s obvious and
naïve bragging. the old man keeps

looking and feels an ache of love
deeper than the deep blue north

woods lake and then wakes with a
lingering ache.

*idea from a Frederick Buechner writing
with apologies to Ingmar Bergman

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