Silverbirch on Canalside
(Off Fazeley St)

For company, a Flanders poppy
and a brooding pair
of breeding swans. This sidebranch’s
blocked off. Your torso’s cracked
like old plaster. On your bending flesh
cling barnacles of wart
as on a greywhale unzipped
from the hiding sea. The all else
is breathless, a too fast
running past. Your roots swim down
into slow currents, diving
into the world’s skin. You are the guardian
of your own image, unknowing,
on a scummed and lily-padded channel,
where an oiled city (gerra moveon)
slides and wheezes by.

David Bircumshaw

If you've any comments on this poem, David Bircumshaw would be pleased to hear from you.