Rise

She is slow – the River Ouse –
running muddied below Lewes –
there a capricious millpond –
but when she swells

under storms – off streams
Bevern and Northend
and the quick River Uck –
she reverts to ancient freshet –

swift to rise to redress
the forgotten flood meadows
now supplanted by tarmac –
She rushes such mistakes –

And then a stagnant retreat –
like some unabashed lover –
She leaves a long odour –
she is loathed-to-recede

and keep to the contract
made by tide charts and maps –
to stay inside banks and bends
without the town’s walls

E21018

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