That afternoon we tramped to the springs
brushing branches and dead leaves aside,
trading terminologies, looking
for tiny mosses sung up by the frogs
who hide and call from lucid pools,
remembering, hoping for new growth
to show them spring might come. We were clear
of the city, nearly free to breathe.
The lake was cold, the woods were bare.
We looked into useless, bottomless pools
where ‘crystal clear’ means ‘don’t drink here’.
Only our voices echoed; no birds sang.
The sun flickered low in the pines
like a dying wasp snagged in resin.
Mary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on New Zealand’s Kapiti coast. She is a former natural history editor and as a poet has published in Australia, NZ, the US, the UK and Canada. Her newest book, Fish Stories, will come out in 2015.