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By Robert James Berry
Up sheltered inlets is a languid floating world;
backwaters far from the coast's thunder
a shunned landscape beyond the big statements of beach
and headland, the island sprinkled sea
that is this north.
Below root rafts the tide traps silt,
reclaims land, makes more
adding to the estuarine smell,
impeding the sea.
Breathing roots push up sticky thumbs
that also have a fruity decomposing smell
like bee pollen that will be
infinitely oppressive all summer.
In the river mouth mudcrabs drill holes;
spire snails and necklace seaweed
conduct themselves more secretly
than the ancestral world.
If a crake booms, it could be
the old tongue woken;
a swollen knuckle of mangrove wood
is always about death.
For this spongy other land inscribes symbols
of all the old horrors.
© Copyright 2004, Robert James Berry, All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 1997, 2019, The Fairfield Review Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Document last modified on: 01/06/2007