York in Poetry: Flood

Posted on 25 November 2012 | Poem

Silt stains tree trunk and fence;
the reeds are pressed to a twisted mat,
and that stand of willow herb has been snapped
flat. Everywhere, twigs trail weed,
while prayer flags of plastic flap on boughs.
A week past, the river forgot where to flow.
Now puddles a hundred yards inland
flash a watery sky. All is fragile, shocked
into convalescence. Even the ducks
paddle silently between rafts of stalk and litter.
So much damage in so few days. And yet –
on that chaos of broken elder, buds swell:
promise of growth, hint of damselflies
and sun, on glistening water.
- Pauline Kirk