Only the sound of oysters feasting
and sand castles dissolving
into searching water.
It shepherds tumbling weed
in from wild sea, fingers
over ribbed flats
where the heron dabs
at pirouetting soldier crabs,
blue sky captured on their backs.
Ahead the night, above the sea-eagle
gifted by an ebbing thermal;
the mullet ballet.
Hither on mangrove channelled
greener water, an old man oars
to heart-known spots
ghosted by grandfather whistling Duke Ellington,
cardiganed and baited
for flathead. Now his hands
trenble with knots, lungs fester
on each breath but in dreams
a flawless estuary where people long gone
call his name from eucalypt-shaded banks.
The old man smiles, knows he'll soon
find such water,
his guide the tide that doesn't turn.
Other poems by Andrew Milson
Short fiction by Andrew Milson