The River Pool, Lewisham

Will Hatchett

By the gas works and the giant Sainsbury’s

Blocking the winter sky like a shroud

The boxed hatchbacks swarm like larvae.

Though smothered, she is not dead

She was merely exiled beneath the ground –

Sleeping fields that have never seen a lark

Acres of concrete spreading like a wound.

She springs from the earth near the car park

For an age, she waited, like a rumour.

Glimpsed in the flash of a kingfisher

She is the queen of  hawthorn and alder

The goddess – here, you can almost touch her.

She threads through ash and willow weeping.

She was not dead. She was merely sleeping.