fish take me by surprise.
Looking down from Broad Street Bridge,
then from the towpath edge
I need an explanation
for such unexpected clarity,
a long exposure of minnows,
lush reeds and sulky sediment.
It’s ironic, says the cut water,
I have been cleansed
by a vandal-induced stoppage.
Tearfully the water speaks:
It was you who saved me
from oil slick, effluent, blackened
polystyrene icebergs, mattress tangled
shopping trolleys, half inched bikes,
malicious metal spikes,
contents of living rooms tipped.
I was soap sud soup with beer bottle croutons,
peppered with cans and the odd chunk of meat.
You saved me from scum,
from smothering polythene,
wire running red, the callous garrottes
of those who would see me dead.
I fear the onset of duck weed.
You saved me to be stirred.
© Heather Wastie