120102 The Dead Darter.

17 Jan

A year after the flood the mangrove grows
green and tall behind the dead stands, and
steps down through them into the brown creek.

The incoming tide brings
a dead darter, a snake-bird, ᷿ʄ̰
and drapes it on a dead mangrove twig. ῃ

The tide turns (rain and salt water rush
down past the dead darter)
and gradually reveals:
the slender neck, grey, swollen, hanging over the twig of mangrove;
the yellow beak, and head;
the hunched dark wings;
the speckled chest, usually well hidden;
all on display;
such a private bird.
The mangrove bends and nods,
bends and nods,
dipping the dead bird,
bends and nods,

and snaps.

A cloud of insects takes to the air; ҈

The darter assumes
a familiar pose, head down, as though about to
sink for food or security,

and floats down, past its own kin
fishing near the creek mouth,
in among the mangroves …

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Posted by on 17 January, 2012 in #MoP12, POEMS


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