The Source

Jean Sprackland

Want to learn the source,
the cool under the surface fire?
Watch the heron:

he snatches the silver voice
from the throat of the river
and swallows it live.

How quick the water heals
and speaks again, how many
darting notes among the reeds.

Follow with your rod and line,
tear a wound
and drag out an echo.

Take home your hoard of silver.
Run a blade along
the seam of the belly,

spill the redblack treasure,
scrape off the mirrorwork.
There. Look. What have you learned?

The dead reek on the slab.
A small heap of tricks.