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Backwaters

by Frederick Foote

Slowly sliding down Sutter slough
Gliding by half sunken tree limbs

One soft oar stroke at a time
Floating from sunshine to shadow

Under leaves of Willow, Elm and Valley Oak
Between levees of Chinese buried bones

Solitude and serenity sooth a weeks work
Fishing for pleasure and Friday night fish fries

Scrappy crappie taken on Snodgrass Slough
Stripers hooked on Pump House Road

Black bass fight back on Steamboat Slough
Cunning catfish caught on cheese on Columbia Cut

A stunted sturgeon landed on Winchester Lake
A carnival of crawdads snagged on Cache Slough

These backwaters fecund, sleepy and slow
Going nowhere leisurely never late or early

A life style I could swallow with ease
A teasing bait I would savor every time

Scatter my ashes here in memory
Of what I forever longed to be