States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'New Years Day by the river' by Miranda Lello

I swim through obscure water to the far bank where
trees hunch searching reflections in muddy currents

I crawl beneath greening branches beside dark bracken
spiky cycads stare out at the people on the other side

They lie spread on sparsely grassed sand congregated
by this inland river beneath incongruous beach umbrellas

They stumble through shallows on hidden rocks swim
to the middle where lazy currents turn their eyes to the sky

They will not climb the dirty bank grasp tree roots grab
clinging plants and haul themselves upwards so I am safe

I turn and see the hill behind me burnt out trees silhouetted
against bright sky promising green ranges stretching away

Sky promises trees sprouting new leaves on sunlit hills
next Spring grass will quiver with wildflowers and sun moths

I look at bending trees gripping to the bank gnarled roots
claws in dry dust mud of the river gives back no reflections

I turn from the sunlit hill dive into water where weeds embrace
the muddy bed embrace love me in the sunlight salted dark

Miranda Lello

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