Spineless

I’m left to wonder, sitting by the Swan—
our river, on her quiet, curving neck
and looking south towards her ancient back—
I wonder how these places have the heart
to tolerate the engine’s drone, the waves
on windless days, the hammering that drowns
the little laughter of a stream. I know
that nature has the teeth, so why not bite?

Translucence twitches in the sand—a prawn
left out of water by the tide. I catch
it with a stick and send it home. Perhaps
the crime is punishment enough, while those
that care to watch for spineless refugees
enjoy the lichens bleaching in the sun.

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