The Flood

Elder river rats,
in reed and weed over coats.
Patrol the shores and coasts
of wavering, windward river banks,

In files and ridged ranks
they march the route,
in well heeled groups
of fours and eights.

Scuffing boots and kicking cans
washing pink
from blood blacked hands.
Harvesters of bloated child and man,

with white blind eyes
we cry.
The dirge, that mourns
the dawning of one last fallen friend.

Airs drift over floating debris,
burnished leaf
and puckered plastic.
Tin cans and masticated cud.

With white buck teeth
they chew the fat
and spit it out,
read the runes, divine signs of death

On killing ground.
The undertakers grind
the bones of living things.
tree perched angels sing

A choir of feathers
a raucous avian get together
black cloaked brotherhood.
Down below the levels rise

levees subside,
plains destroyed
and river rats paddle fast
in the last rising tide.

-Dave Kavanagh

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