Caught by the River

A Poem for the Third Week of Advent

Katherine Venn | 16th December 2009

Canal Lock at Winter by Katherine Venn

This is the hushed moment, the held breath
between what’s past and what you hope for: the depth
of upstream shining softly on ahead.
The lock is empty, its gates wedged fast though you lean
against the current’s weight, back to the beam.
Six foot of water shivers, creaks. Unseen,
though, something lifts: a hidden pressure
that grows and gathers, water welling up from under
until at last the touch of just one finger
is enough to swing the gates: the gentle rise
that bears you up – or is it that the water has
itself bent down, stooped to kiss your face?