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This poem is taken from PN Review 76, Volume 17 Number 2, November - December 1990.

High River - for the marriage of Brian and Mary Davis Les Murray

We were all at the river before it was strange
and toddled to whoops all ribbed middays long
with sisters and kick-sprays, and the light came in tins
but, spilling or strapped up, love was there to soothe change.

Inside water all stayed, shaking; top stuff moved away.
The foggy telescoping cat who dreamed up from deep
was Yabbie, of crack forepaws, fond of waterlogged sandwich.
Turtles, finger-necked, pointed out 'One regards one sky each.'

Fringed eels, made all of tail, bumped a dog sunk in sleep
and the questioning length fathers shouldered to deep holes
jobbed, and wriggled up again, fixed through a dumb-shouting
kicker, in crisp saliva, who'd be sweet on sundown's coals.

The river swelled through concrete in cyclone-wire summers
and inside the greened rope-tree's palace of jerked m's.
It built bridges, teemed, raged brown miles wide to music;
one side was gorge and hidden - the same side was Thames.
...


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