Low Level

How I Wretched and Sorrowful


River Exe at low level

River Exe at low level

I’m down by Exeter Quay. I’ve never seen the river so low. It exposes the crap underneath the normally beautiful, softly flowing surface. Old signs from the Riverside Cafe, bricks and pipes, crisp packets, beer glasses and faded cans of special brew. 
Muddy swans scavenge in the mud, Saddles and Paddles are renting no boats, the Butts Ferry is gone, it’s pull line like a tightrope, or plumb line, marking an older, higher level. 
I think of how the river level reflects my own low mood. Of the rusted, rotten, secrets of the past that I hide when my emotions are higher, and I am better to cope. 
I hear noises. Workmen in the distance. The floodplain is being updated, to keep the river more level, and to do this, the river has, first, had to lower its level and reveal   the secrets of it’s unsightly darkness. 
But later, the river will rise back to its normal height, the city safe from flooding. And when I’m better, back to normal, when the workmen have helped me fix my mind, I will remember the things I saw, beneath my own, cool, calm, surface. 

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