Poetry and Poetics
AWAY FROM THE RIVER
In the air, a taste of
what we're in for,
wet damp, sharp smudge of leaf-rot,
sniff of iron-cold, something implacable,
black. Where they've stood, knee-joint
deep, in the lagoon and also at two bends
in the river, the herons are only ghosts
now, heaving upward, the wing-span wide
as they were tall, stick legs dangling
at first as though they were swimming
in air, and then a plumb-line south.
The wind skids and ricochets off water,
sheers inland where we walk, veering us.
This year it comes: there are no happy endings.
© by Patricia Clark
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