earth shadow, Poem, Poetry

Nigel King


Where the river has burst its banks
a woman kneels and weeps.
She leans forward to reach
into the water, feeling for something:
a dropped coin, a smooth stone,
or a cold hand seeking hers.

You watch her from the tree line:
a twinge of guilt at this voyeurism,
though not enough to stop you lifting
the camera to your eye, framing her
perfectly against the sky.

You retreat through the woods,
before the afternoon turns dark,
follow the path back to the town.
On the train home you look again
at the image you took
the day not entirely a loss.

From the window you watch men
struggling with pumps and drainage pipes.
Rooks return to their trees to roost.
The flooded fields stretch out of sight.

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