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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.



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