Clare Hornsby

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Chiswick Mall

Low river tide heron stalking
Visible now, grey as water
Stepping across rivulets
Twilight, full rising moon.
Silent rowers lean in, pull
Hard in the heavy current
Drag back, past the gull-
gatherings on the mud.

Delicate, white, the heron’s mate 
Matches his pace
Not near him, not far.
Playing the game I never learnt. 

Beyond the mulberry tree
(Its large hand-like leaves flap
Its broken berries stain)
The boat gibbet rests, aimless. 
Not rope enough to swing by.

Late august moon hauls up the
Warm dark end-of-summer sky
Pace and pull and stretch and step.
Make it last, each thought urges.