Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Lake Eucumbene

Eucumbene has fallen below the stump
our old lives lift their lips through the water
surface to sip air. In the umbrage of our kitchen
my mother is frying trout, there are crumbs
on the bench, flesh sticking to the pan,
butter smokes. She flips the fish
onto a plate, cuts more butter into the pan
it smooths to a quivering pool.
She asks me why I’ve been so long.

Adaminaby has risen from the water,
my mother has told this story in bubbles
since she passed. We know
there are waves.
When she walks from the room,
I try not to follow.

Outside her kitchen, there’s a crumpled church
dying in the mud;
the bag I packed has split open,
my clothes have disappeared,
five decades of silt has covered a stack of dinner plates.

The parts we don’t need have been turning into clouds
they open on other lakes
break the surface.
Rush into rivers, fall
into the mouths of fish,
buried in a stomach shaped by gills.

We are fluid as broken promises,
the water recedes before us.
We walk into the mud,
bare feet, graceless ankles, sliding, stones at our heels

 

Read the rest of Overland 241

If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue

Or subscribe and receive
four brilliant issues for a year

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Rico Craig is a teacher, writer, and award-winning poet whose work melds the narrative, lyrical and cinematic. Craig is published widely; his poetry collection Bone Ink was winner of the 2017 Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2018. To find recent writing visit https://ricocraig.com/

More by