Caught by the River

Ball Street Bridge: a poem by Angelina Ayers

2nd August 2017

Past the cutlers, halfway over the Don
I stop to watch the river’s dull pewter
slow-shimmy the strait, grinding stone,
cutting shingle. Mallards perch the weir

sloped in water-gush and slugs of rain
like dregs of Kelham Ale. I envy their grit,
webbed roots dug down against the braid
of ore-heavy stream, a quiet unshifting.

With moonrise, light pivots as it fails.
The suds beneath glint with gudgeon
and coltsfoot smoulders the watery soil,
yellows the banks like fire. I want to learn

this knack of standing still while headwaters,
washing past, whittle rocks to quartz.


Taken from the anthology The Footing, published by Longbarrow Press.