by Sam Morley
The steering is slack until you crank
the gurgling outboard motor.
We push past the last buoy
and I find myself standing.
Over open water, air circles
the blackness underneath.
I pull my children closer.
Cormorants dive, find nothing
and rise as oily shadows up a wall.
I cut the engine and we slide
slowly on the skin of the lake –
chiaroscuro in a graphite field.
Water mounds, then wears away.
The children scuttle and chiack.
I feel something slick, a vague
threat closing, a regret I can’t repair.
On the expanding cross-hatch of lead
I watch an accumulation of shapes
contours of nothing that do not remain
long enough to define themselves.
Sam Morley is a Melbourne based poet and secondary school teacher. His work has been published by Cordite, Red Room Poetry, The Hunter Writer's Centre and shortlisted in the ACU Poetry Prize 2020.
Seeking words with sizzle, poetry that wraps us in burning ribbons and won't let go. Send us your best!