Past the cutlers, halfway over the Don
I stop to watch the river’s dull pewter
slow-shimmy the strait, grinding stone,
cutting shingle. Mallards perch the weir
sloped in water-gush and slugs of rain
like dregs of Kelham Ale. I envy their grit,
webbed roots dug down against the braid
of ore-heavy stream, a quiet unshifting.
With moonrise, light pivots as it fails.
The suds beneath glint with gudgeon
and coltsfoot smoulders the watery soil,
yellows the banks like fire. I want to learn
this knack of standing still while headwaters,
washing past, whittle rocks to quartz.
From Angelina D’Roza’s sequence ‘The Strait’ in the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing. Visit The Footing microsite for more details about the book. Listen to Angelina D’Roza reading this poem on location near Ball Street Bridge, Sheffield: