Sixteen miles from my home,
the White River curves slightly to the south.
In the fall, we sat near its edge,
as my friend’s two boys caught crawdads
that scrambled under stones in a puddle
formed by the roots of a sycamore.
The two boys, so patient, so fast, raced toward us,
rewarded by the catch of a crawdad no bigger than my thumb,
flipping in the net.
At first shrieking with delight, they quieted to study the feelers;
the wet, beady eyes;
the armor-like tail, curved and flipping.
My friend and I leaned in to admire.
I stared, because I had forgotten about crawdads.
I forgot that there were nearly translucent crustaceans
whisking along the murky mud of the White River,
snapping their pincers and slipping under rocks.
I forgot that God planned it all, from the beginning,
that He cared about tiny crawdads
and eager preschoolers
and their mothers
and fall afternoons in Indiana.
I forgot that He knew that very moment,
when two young boys forming the bones of manhood
would feel the thrill of the chase, the hunt, the catch.
He knew those boys, holding up crawdads for us to gaze and admire.
He knew that I would suddenly remember it all,
and give thanks.
* * * * *
© 2002 Ann Kroeker