The river that rumbled through winter
And survived the welting winds and the sun each summer,
Limps, now, fitfully, through putty mud.
Along the scoured banks the dry roots of trees curl upon themselves.
Where grey teals pelted the sky with wings
And splashed down like bursting shrapnel,
Sour pools remain
And in them lie bloated, eyeless fish.
In the shrinking shallows wallow cod,
Grotesque as stranded submarines
The greedy run their fingers through rivers of cotton and rice.