top of page


Betsy Holleman Burke

A tumult of shad roils. The churning

waters of the Potomac under Chain

Bridge are slippery with rocks that catch him,

fill his waders with cold, bang his hip,

twist his ankle. Shivering, soaked he

presses on. He vies for space among

a rag-tag crowd, casts his line over

and over. He fills the cooler with fish.


The call comes from the boxy car phone:

Babe, put on the bacon. Grease is ready

for roe the minute he arrives, wet and

rank, in need of a shower, joyful. A man

who slips into the River on a

glorious spring afternoon to secure

an obscure dinner we cook together.


-Spring 1999


The Potomac River: Great Falls - Photo Taken by Henry Brown

bottom of page