in late September on the Pere Marquette
when the salmon were running. How they bet
on the first fish and the most fish and the weight
of the biggest and the best. He was nine.
His mother and father were not divorced.
The salmon went upstream to spawn and die.
There seemed an order to the universe.
He has a picture of himself that day,
holding two cohos, looking capable.
Behind him trees are turning. It is autumn.
His mother is back home with Mike and Sean
and Heather, his sister, and all the while
his father keeps coaxing him: Smile! Smile!