Heat Wave

25 August 2019

By Philip Kuepper

Not a wave moves.
Anchor chains of boats
appear plunged in glue.
Trees stand, cut-outs,
pasted on the sky,
grey-white, cloudless.
No bird flies.

Rowers stand shore,
still as a photograph.
(Has a spell been cast
by some unseen force?)
Heat presses against their skin,
like a hot iron against cloth.
Energy seeps from the air.

The heats have been cancelled.
SPLASH!
A rower dives
into the gluey river.
His powerful arms oar
the shell of his body.
Other rowers follow.

They cut through the glue,
sculpt it liquid.
The waves they cause
waken the boats at anchor.
The torpor has lifted.

(22 August 2019)

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