I remember his fists, hard knuckles
clipping a loudmouthed trespasser's chin.
At Basin Creek, he delicately pulled a knife blade
through creamy bellies of brook trout.
When I was thirteen, he braced
a twenty-gauge shotgun into my shoulder,
placed his trigger finger over mine.
We ground-sluiced a dimwitted
mud hen together.
Later, after a series of strokes,
at the home where our family stored him,
he would wait for his grandchildren's
after-school visits, mutely grin, reach
for our hands like a curious infant.