Matt O'Donnell

Loon Cove

Local knowledge tells of good fishing on the southern lip. He rests his paddle, drifts with the canoe in quiet water over a ledge that runs the lake’s width. The line unspools an arcing trill while, silent as bait, he casts again toward the rocks, sees her there, treading water where, stretched, she could stand. He reels back to that time when, regardless of words, they curled in the dry sand, searched the clouds lightening from rain sinking Pine Island just to the west. With one stroke he could change momentum, pull away—or closer—a wake in swirls. The only movement is the curdled air of a loon echoing for its mate somewhere nearer shore.


“Loon Cove” first appeared in The Greensboro Review, Winter, 1997-1998.