Walking in the shallows as the tide went out
the split-moment before the fall
and before balance regained me
I thought I saw my reflection in a wave.
Over-silted sand-filled wannabee footsteps
shrouding the reeds in clouds of seaweed dust
of mooring chain rust, bobbing buoys
and clove-hitched up bleach blue bottles
thrust out past waist deep
as I stumbled passively in the shin-depths.
Arrowheads and shucked clam shells
merge as the sun dries my dear departed footfalls
scented with the dung of a thousand mouldy skate bones
in a land only known for its bass,
the boats turn to salute their retiring mistress
and expose the fickle riders
who didn’t check high-tide’s time before
beginning their drifting bouncing rodeo.
Sunburnt and sunwarmed, silently
I drag the dinghy back down
to its approaching mooring.
I find the chain only once I’ve removed my flip-flops,
and those clouds fall clear, the sky near,
to my naked feet
in this unclothed estuary.