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Famous Reporter # 32
 

MARK MILLER

 

    Shoalhaven River, First Light

 

1
Impatient for the sun’s blade
to pare mist from the water
I glance sidewards,
two king parrots spurt past
red and squeaking
and delirious with rain.
 
2
I slip down out of
the shin-high grasses
to where dark water
languidly slaps
the fishbone sand.
Among the reeds
minnows lip rings on water,
they shatter into bright embers
as the day bursts alive
with wood ducks rising,
their necks and wings
incandescent with fire
racing across the river’s skin.
3
On the ridge
I pass from stone to stone,
tapping and splitting, looking for fossils,
bits of crustacean,
bone shards, a pine needle,
a trapped seed.
I bypass crystallised stones,
my eyes seek out others instead:
look, how in this light,
the hair-fine lines
embedded here in a russet vein
resemble a leaf’s filigree
or a fingerprint in sand.
I move on, curious, alone,
hear water relentlessly
churning the banks below me,
whirling mixed pebbles and shells,
erasing history
from the river’s floor.

 

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