A River

Giles Goodland


Edge the pain towards the child:

a matter of years. Nevertheless

snow fades upon so much that is laid,

the endless stretched-out plans.


They hit us with small fists and we fix them

into beds as if to apply this to life.

We’re afraid they’ll come out indifferent

as if there was ever a coherent child

or a unified fly


the lung inversely tree hangs

between early morning’s porch-

light, shows the dim way behind

the steps. Blank leaderless rain falls on us

as we wait for human shapes.


Lost dogs run before they melt, before

light splotches the road and

fragments of conversation pace at pathfoot.


When the road is quiet you hear

the storm-drain whisper.

The blush in that

field grows,

the truer lie bends in


that catch the moon is sky to

kindles, it seems objects are


river of inside, inspection, that silts

her wrists and wraps herself in ribbons.


Giles Goodland has published several books of poetry including A Spy in the House of Years (2001), Capital (2006), What the Things Sang (2009), The Dumb Messengers (2012) and The Masses (2018). He works in Oxford as a lexicographer and lives in West London.

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