by Katherine Reed

In the first place,
you’d never see it from the roadside,
you’ve got to clamber over the railings and
half-walk, half-slide,
down the hill, bare feet thick
with mud and thorns and swollen pride.
The green world
smells of peppermint, rotting
wood dried
by pale sun.
There, the delicate Lemnoideae glide
like tiny, bright green parachutes
on a sudden wind.
Their frail lobes spin
in the wake of rocks thrown, ensnared
precariously by their own air
bubbles, they capsize,
drown, will decompose.
You do not ask them
to forgive you.