It Is Not Long Gone Now

Back to Issue 14 

A mallard alone in the Nishava River, 
rippling weir, stones submerged, 
mist obscuring the far, paved shore. 
I do not see the duck disappear. 

At the internment camp, we sit
under a walnut tree, on a sloping bench. 
A redstart throws itself to the grass,
recoils swiftly back to the top of a wall. 
Eagles circle. 

It is bare, the building where prisoners slept, frigid. 
A shirt hangs in a glass cabinet, 
windows overlook barbed wire. 
Skulls on a shelf, nameless. 

We walk along the river, find the mallard with its mate, 
watch sparrows in a gaunt bush. 
The bridge to the castle is intact. 

It was not long ago we were in Kyiv, 
summer, a sarong for a picnic rug, in the shade
of chestnuts, oaks. 

I slip out of loneliness, 
a flock of pigeons overflowing the square. 
A priest walks by dressed in black. 

By Ion Corcos

Ion Corcos was born in Sydney, Australia in 1969. He has been published in Cordite, Meanjin, Wild Court, The Sunlight Press, and other journals. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is the author of A Spoon of Honey (Flutter Press, 2018).