A world of muck and scum,
with duckweed, frogbit, starwort.
We have been intimate at dawn
barely roused and drowsy, dipping
paddles dripping filaments,
and at sundown, gliding toward twilight,
nodding with willowherb, mud-sedge,
the surface streaked with afterglow.
In between, the day’s a tabloid
of ruckus and suck, flutter and splash,
each brief life making the most of it.
Still water will devour anything offered,
give back eggs and slime. Put on
a good show, put up a good fight.
Tonight, its shallows seem depthless
as dream, holding the corona of moon,
an elusive lover in a trick of light.
Antonia Clark, a medical writer and editor, has also taught creative writing and manages an online poetry workshop, The Waters. Her poems have appeared in many print and online journals, including The Cortland Review, The Missouri Review, The Pedestal Magazine, and Rattle. She has published a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors, and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon.