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.