Two days into the flood
they appear, moored against
a roof eave or bobbing caught
in the crowns of drowned trees.
Like fancy life boats
from an adventurer’s flag ship,
brass plating and grips,
walnut sheen, scroll work,
they slip through the understory
on this brief, bad river.
What have they discovered
and come back to account?
Or is this the beginning
of the marvellous voyage
and they plan never to return?
- In 4 brief points, say what the poet does in each of the 4 sentences.
- Why do you think the poet says it is a ‘brief, bad river’?
- The ‘understory’ is literally a layer of small trees and bushes below the level of the taller trees in a forest; but poets choose words for the associated ideas of a word too… How would you link ‘understory’ to the questions that end the poem?