The Assumption

He walks on frozen water,
a hooded figure navigating
the snow-rutted ramp to the lake.
Head bowed, shoulders hunched
against the unforgiving wind,
he grips a bucket in one gloved
hand, metal box in the other.

His heavy boots crunch the
snow-covered ice as he joins
the circle of parka-covered
forms kneeling around
a black hole, huddling together
like the homeless around a fire.

I watch, safe in my perch
above the ramp, then continue
taking photos of the lighthouse
at dawn.  Soon the fisherman
crosses the ice once more,
trudges over the snowy ruts,
up the icy ramp toward his truck.

Cold hobby you’ve chosen,
I remark.  Ma’am, he says
I do this for my living.

—Jane Kocmoud, Sheboygan, WI