Black Water

by Paul Blake

A little after dawn, the estuary
still as a tin dish of milk

and the air astringent, like a pain so true
it must just be borne.
On the mudbank, Brent geese
talk gentleness to one another

their soft round voices
like small observed thoughts afloat

over the gunmetal
of the flats, the sheepwool snags of mist.

To look out over water
is the sweetest beginning

even in memory
even when you lie between walls.