Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mermen (1 of 4)

River Sighting by a Man Who Walked Daily

I came upon a young man sitting by the edge
of the river, his hair gleaming like gold coins,
body white against granite, thighs slipping
into the green water. Under the wreaths of leaves,
he studied his book as if to find his way back home.
Like seaweed rising from corals, rushes eddied
round him while geese browsed on grass. He stretched
as though to throw a javelin and the river lapped at him.
I followed his gaze and saw on the opposite bank
a woman pushing a stroller. Her breasts, taut with milk,
jutted under her thin shirt like twin-prows. He waved
to her, swung out of the water and stepped into his sandals.
The other, flashing his salmon tail, slipped back to the estuary.

1 comment:

Rob Mackenzie said...

You like that "gold coin" image, Jee! I'm sure you've used similar metaphorical imagery in other poems. Larkin's "The Explosion" always comes to mind too.

That's not a negative criticism. I've noticed poets using the same metaphor in different ways in different poems, but in the same collection, perhaps to give some hint of unity between the poems.

This piece is interesting, and the shock of "the other" appearing was enough to send me back to the beginning to read it again.