The Old Jetty

Playing on the crumbling jetty,

A scaffold of rough-hewn timbres,

reaching out from the embankment path,

to the dirty river’s edge.

With flotsam heaped on the tidal stretch,

and eels and animal carcases,

washed up by the heavy swell.

Algae spreading like a plague,

High up on greenheart piles and the concrete bank.

Where I slipped, my footing lost,

As I balanced on slimy wood.

Tumbling down.

Onto the stony shore below.

And as I lay there dazed.

I glanced up and saw my friends.

Their mouths open, agog.

Then I felt a warm glow.

Creeping.

Spreading over my face,

which I touched with a trembling hand.

And when I looked,

at my blood-smeared fingers.

I knew,

why my friends stared open-eyed,

their fear now reflected in me.

And picking myself up,

I scrambled up the slippery bank,

to the long pathway above.

My friends in stunned silence.

Watching,

from behind the closed gates.

Where hung the warning sign:

DANGER NO ENTRY,

etched in bright red paint,

the colour of my blood,

as I ran home

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