Shin Deep in a Riffle Of the Gila River

My son and I grouped with twelve other lungers

and thrashers trying to outdo each other by shouting

out the newest dragonfly sighting: sandhill bluet,

gilded river cruiser, beaverpond baskettail, cardinal

meadowhawk. A boy in Japan, not in New Mexico,

Matthew could have tied weights on the ends of silk

strands to throw at dragonflies who would confuse

the silver for a mosquito, attack and get tangled in

the thread, unharmed. We learned quickly a dragonfly

can't be blindsided and that our best technique was

to pancake. Coming straight at me like a baseball pitch,

incandescent red eyes glared and taunted, first a slider,

then curve ball and change-up combined. I held

the sock of the net against the handle to minimize

drag. The dragonfly kept coming. White netting

whistling in air, I was Hemingway facing the dragonfly

eyeball to eyeball. No macho woman, I let my catch go,

releasing life to burnish the air with iridescent wings.

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