woolwich flats

i sit in the shallows waiting for eels cross-legged on
the green mud at the margins of a lead smutted river
there’s a crowd of water as we brace ourselves on the
slime of an old ferry slipway waiting for eels themselves wild
silver rivers in cold green clay
so i walk slowly over the water to meet the river we aren’t much
like friends it won’t turn to answer
when the river’s my doorstep it holds me indoors in the other
room it’s eyes can rage mouth spit vinegar and on a shit day
like today hold me tight to its lips
on the days when the river  looks like uncooked liver over
knots of eels their eyes are compasses with a rusty nail
that spins to our lowest tides
the water is drowning a shadow of holes capturing clouds
unwelcome dreams and undone trees where the river takes hold
we are neighbours so i talk to them eels they don’t snitch but
i know they know that the holes  in the water are best
the eels watch from the flats as i sink in my clothes of silt i
lean into the drink mouth my last name to them and drift
into their grin




[Jeremy Gibson is a language teacher and is now exploring poetry. He was born and raised in South-East London. This is his first published poem. ]

Copyright © 2019 by Jeremy Gibson, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.